But the Nittany Lions running back reminded fans and Heisman voters against Iowa on Saturday. He downplayed it in media availability going into the game, and apropos of a Big Ten player, he gave credit to his teammates and "best team sport in the world", for what he was able to do.
But on the first four, they came away with a cumulative three points, no thanks to a punt, two missed field goals and one made field goal.
Trace McSorley apologized profusely for kicking the football into the air at the end of Penn State's dramatic 21-19 victory over Iowa Saturday night. The Hawkeyes had only one first down until the 4:34 mark of the second period.
How stinkin' good is Josey Jewell? Penn State's offense must find ways to spread the wealth, which it usually does. Mcsorley completed a pass to Saeed Blacknall, his first catch of the night, for six yards and a first down.
McSorley atoned for costly errors at the end of the second and third periods.
Fast forward 23 years to Saturday night in Iowa City, and Penn State was back in a similar situation.
Half empty: Barkley is a human being - we think - and he's susceptible to overwork, fatigue or dare we say injury if he is going to be relied upon as much as he was Saturday (28 runs, 12 catches, three kickoff returns).
Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead didn't want Barkley to be "pigeonholed" as a running back, so he has lined him at receiver and called passes to him from the backfield.
Barkley earned that praise on multiple occasions.
"I kind of blacked out, to be honest with you". "It's one of those deals ..."
Barkley's quick first-step punished the Hawkeyes on the edge.
He demonstrated that when he went up and over cornerback Josh Jackson and followed that leap by escaping from a hit delivered by Amani Hooker before being chased out of bounds on a play in the fourth quarter.
This season, Barkley has accounted for 300+ yards on 38 attempts with three touchdowns.
"But you look at (Penn State's) surrounding cast, the supporting cast, their entire offense, man for man, 11 guys, there's a reason why they won the championship last year and why they had such a good year".
Penn State's offense ultimately ran 99 plays and totaled 579 yards, while its defense limited Iowa to 273 yards on 45 plays. Iowa held North Texas to just 93 yards in the second half last week. The sophomore's passes early on seemed adrenaline-filled, a byproduct of the moment, and were initially too hot to handle.
He'll be better in the future because of the experience he gained against an aggressive Penn State defense which tested Stanley physically and mentally.
Special teams: A mixed bag here. Amani Hooker recorded 13 tackles in his first career start, and Nelson added 2½ sacks, five total tackles and a blocked field goal. He also ran 17 times for 61 yards, battling through some inconsistency to hit the biggest pass of the night ... and one of the biggest of his unbelievable career.
Yep, Penn State's 12-play, 80-yard march to the end zone was textbook.
Penn State's offense in the first half ran almost 30 plays in Iowa territory and had 219 total yards but only three points to show for their effort as the Iowa defense matched the Nittany Lions tackle for tackle.