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Amidst tears, there is still a lot to celebrate

Penn State beat Indiana 45-22 Saturday at Beaver Stadium and there should’ve been a lot of things to celebrate.

The only problem was there were more tears than celebration.

Michael Mauti’s injury muted much of the enjoyment. Tears flowed freely from his parents, coaches and teammates. And when the entire stadium could see Mauti himself on the giant scoreboards with tears during the post-game alma mater – well, there were probably even a few more tears shed throughout the stadium.

Mauti is more than just an All-American type linebacker. He is the heart of this football team. In fact, since July he’s even been even more than that to a lot of people associated with Penn State.

It was difficult for many to watch him go down and then watch him with tears.

It would be easy to focus this entire space on Mauti, but many others have done wonderful jobs (Travis Johnson and Nate Mink to name a couple) of that already.

On the celebratory side, the win was the Nittany Lions seventh of the season and clinched a winning season. Now, as far as history goes, that’s not something that’s celebrated in Happy Valley. However, after everything that has happened over the past year, seven wins this year is a great season.

Many speculated and predicted a three or four-win season for the Nittany Lions. Las Vegas oddsmakers put the over/under on Penn State wins at 5.5. They have seven and are shooting for an eighth.

That’s worth celebrating.

Quarterback Matt McGloin threw for 395 yards (a career high) and four touchdowns Saturday.

He set records for career touchdown passes (45), single season completions (251), and single season yards (3,071).

This all from a quarterback that was a walk-on that beat out three four-star recruits but was often criticized by PSU fan base.

That’s worth celebrating.

How about Allen Robinson? The rising sophomore receiver had 10 catches for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He made some spectacular plays this year and a bunch came against the Hoosiers. His ability to leap and adjust to the ball in the air has been nothing short of spectacular. Robinson, on the season, has 73 catches for 978 yards and 11 touchdowns.

For everyone that was wringing their hands over the preseason transfer of Justin Brown, that’s worth celebrating.

How about Zach Zwinak? Zwinak ground out another 135 yards rushing. Here’s a back that started the season fourth on the depth chart and now approaches 1,000 yards on the season.

That’s definitely worth celebrating.

Now everybody’s attention turns to Wisconsin Saturday. The Badgers have already clinched a spot in the Big 10 championship game even though they have three conference losses. Ohio State beat Wisconsin 21-14 in overtime Saturday.

This is a chance for the Lions to finish 6-2 in the conference and post their eighth win of the season. That would be eight wins after losing their opening two to Ohio and Virginia. That would be an amazing feat.

Saturday is also Senior Day – it’s sure to be another of celebration and tears.

 

Follow Marty Valania on Twitter @EastRecruiting.

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