Fiesta Bowl score, highlights: Penn State holds off Washington for wild win
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a big lead, but had to hold off a furious comeback from the Huskies
No. 9 Penn State came out clicking on all cylinders, controlled the game early and held on late against No. 11 Washington 35-28 in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Saturday afternoon at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The win caps off a tremendous 11-2 season for coach James Franklin and the Nittany Lions, while the Huskies fell to 10-3.
Here are the main takeaways from the Fiesta Bowl:
1. If this was Saquon Barkley's going away party, it was a doozy: The stud junior running back for Penn State hasn't officially made his future intentions known, but it's safe to assume that this was his final game with the program since Penn State kept him from returning kicks and at least planned to limit his carries.
Barkley still made his presence felt in a massive way by rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns, catching seven passes for 38 yards and ripped off the longest run in Fiesta Bowl history with this 92-yarder in the second quarter.
Saquon Barkley is good at football. pic.twitter.com/psN9YfXAf9— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 30, 2017
Barkley danced around the Heisman Trophy debate for the majority of the season, and his combination of size and speed will make him a high draft pick whenever he decides to move on.
If this was it, he'll leave an indelible mark on the Penn State program as one of the best to ever wear that uniform.
2. Let the Trace McSorley Heisman campaign begin: Barkley and No. 1 wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton won't be around next year for the Nittany Lions, but the star quarterback should be sticking around for his senior season in Happy Valley.
Assuming he does, he should be one of your Heisman Trophy favorites heading into the 2018 season, and he showed you why in the Fiesta Bowl. McSorley completed 32-of-41 passes for 342 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. On third downs, he was a stunning 12-for-12 for 193 yards with 10 of those completions moving the chains.
That's like playing an FCS team in "rookie" mode on the old video game. It's just unfair.
You saw what he's capable of as a passer on Saturday, plus he added 60 more rushing yards to his resume, bringing his season total to 490. The Heisman Trophy is a quarterback-driven award, and the Penn State signal-caller is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.
With Barkley and Hamilton gone, McSorley will be the unquestioned star of a program that should still be in the mix for the division title even after a couple of stars move on. If they are able to hang around the College Football Playoff discussion, it will be because of McSorley -- which will undoubtedly earn him Heisman hype.
3. Myles Gaskin deserves love, too: While Barkley gets well-deserved hype, the junior tailback from Washington deserves a ton of love as well.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder rushed 14 times for 98 yards and his 69-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter brought the Huskies within one score.
It's his third straight 1,000-yard season, puts him at 1,380 for the season and solidifies his place in program history as one of the most important players of the modern era.
When Chris Petersen got to Seattle, the program was an untapped power in a football-rich location. Petersen tapped into its potential, and Gaskin -- a native of Lynnwood, Washington -- was one of the first superstars of his program.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way Saturday afternoon updating this story with highlights, analysis, stats and more throughout the Fiesta Bowl. For additional stats and play-by-play, hit the GameTracker above. If you are unable to view the updates below,.
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