On Saturday, Penn State and Michigan State played a bit of a marathon game with a three-and-half hour weather delay. During the course of the delay, the Ohio State Buckeyes were digging a big hole on the road against Iowa. And during such an extended weather delay, some players on the field on both teams learned of the impending doom for the Buckeyes and how that impacted the stakes of the game in East Lansing.
For Michigan State, the win over the Nittany Lions now sets them up for a showdown with Ohio State this week with a chance to gain the inside track to the Big Ten championship game. A Penn State win would have given Penn State hope for a return trip to the Big Ten championship game, although the Nittany Lions would still have needed a little help in the final few weeks.
But as the game between the Nittany Lions and Spartans was coming down to the wire, Michigan State players said they learned of the Ohio State result from none other than Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
After the game, Penn State head coach James Franklin admitted his team did not handle outside distractions very well. Odds are good Barkley was not focused more on what Ohio State was doing than what he and Penn State had to do. Whatever happened with Ohio State, the game in East Lansing was a must-win for both teams anyway. But could the comment by Barkley have given Michigan State just a little more incentive in the clutch?