Pan-American linebacker Micah Parsons led the massive blitz for Penn State, and he bought Brady White wrapped up when Memphis quarterback out of the blue turned the ball – immediately into the arms of Garrett Taylor.
One day when the Nittany Lions' protection dropped essentially the most factors and yards all season, Taylor turned that reward right into a 15-yard interception return for a landing in a 53- 39 towards the Group of 5 tigers on Saturday in the very best peak. – by no means marked cotton cotton.
"A huge shift," mentioned Taylor.
Journey Brown ran for 202 yards with two lengthy touchdowns, however Parsons' pick-six got here three video games after Brown was stopped brief on a fourth and one. Taylor put the Nittany Lions (11-2, # 10 CFP) up 45-36 earlier than the fourth quarter.
"For our defense to come back and what you probably consider to be a situation of sudden change, and you can get this game, I think it was a huge momentum game," mentioned coach James Franklin.
Parson mentioned, "The match was coming and going, and I thought the team with defensive turnover would win, and we got one when we needed it."
Brown was the offensive MVP and Parsons, with 14 tackles and two sacks, was the perfect defensive participant of the sport. The two of them had gone forwards and backwards on this chance throughout coaching this week.
American Athletics Conference champion Memphis (12-2, # 17 CFP) performed his first recreation with coach Ryan Silverfield. The offensive line coach was promoted when Mike Norvell left after 4 seasons to turn into the Florida State coach earlier this month.
"It just didn't end up the way we wanted," mentioned Silverfield. "I need to do a better job as a head coach to make sure the three phases are prepared. It's 100% on me. This will not happen in the future. "
White had 32 of 51 passes for 454 yards with two interceptions. He had a rushed landing, as did Patrick Taylor Jr. and Kenneth Gainwell. The remainder of the Tigers' factors got here on a Cotton Bowl subject six-goal report by Riley Patterson, together with a 51-yard report.
"I don't care about performance … but I do care about wins," mentioned White. "I want championships, I want wins."
The Tigers, who set a college report for victories whereas successful their first outright convention title since 1969, completed with 542 whole yards. But White has been sacked a season excessive six instances and hasn't touched down for the primary time because the season opened.
"We go against him all the time … nobody is preparing and preparing for these opportunities and moments more than this guy," mentioned Brown of Parsons, who was sitting subsequent to him.
Second-year working again Noah Cain added 92 yards and two touchdowns for Penn State, who’ve received their 50 video games for the 30th time.
The Nittany Lions had 529 whole yards. Brown had 202 speeding yards in 16 races, together with a 32-yard landing and 56 yards when he got here up near midfield.
Memphis: The Tigers concluded essentially the most profitable four-year streak in college historical past with 38 wins, however this senior class has by no means received a bowl recreation. Memphis has been in a bowl in every of the previous six seasons, a college report, however has misplaced its final 5 bowl video games.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had solely allowed 14.1 factors per recreation in the common season, and the very best variety of yards allowed was 462. Penn State had their third New Years recreation in 4 years and completed with 11 wins for the third time in this era.
The reported attendance of 54,828 was the bottom for the Cotton Bowl since New Years Day 1948. It was the 11th Cotton Bowl at AT&T; The stadium, and the bottom earlier in the house of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, had been 59,615 5 seasons in the past when Western Michigan, one other Group of Five group, performed in Wisconsin. … The eight touchdowns mixed had been crucial for a New Years Six recreation. … Patterson's six subject targets had been additionally a NY6 report. … The Big Ten groups are 5-1 in the Cotton Bowl. … The group of 5 groups is 3-3 in the six New Year video games.
Memphis is awaiting a closing choice from White, a 23-year-old former switch graduate, if he’ll return for his closing season of eligibility subsequent 12 months. The Tigers performed the Cotton Bowl with out two of their elders – tight finish Joey Magnifico (knee) and left ahead Scott Dill (left group). Gainwell ended his freshman season with pink shirts with 1,459 yards and 13 touchdowns. Silverfield's first common season recreation as a coach takes place at house on September 5 in the opening recreation towards Arkansas State.
Penn State may hearth all of its offensive beginning gamers, together with quarterback Sean Clifford and Brown, as none had been senior this season. Parsons was a sophomore. Franklin, who has accomplished his sixth season with the Nittany Lions, has a brand new contract till 2022. The opening of Penn State in 2020 will happen on September 5 at house towards Kent State.
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