GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Trace McSorley's toughness has never been questioned. During the past two seasons he hasn't missed a start while extending plays with his legs and helping lead Penn State to 22 victories.
Saturday night, with the opportunity ripe for the picking as the Nittany Lions looked to end the season on a positive, McSorley was yet again the quarterback that delivered play after play, the one that James Franklin and staff fell hard for when McSorley was a high schooler with aspirations of being a quarterback, despite some schools thinking otherwise.
After completing 32 of 41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns -- plus rushing for 60 more yards -- McSorley was named the Fiesta Bowl's offensive MVP. He joined the defensive MVP, safety Marcus Allen, on the podium and it was yet again a reminder of the special player the Lions have throwing the ball -- the calm, cool and collected quarterback who bounces up time and time again.
"I can't imagine there's a better quarterback in the country in terms of decision-making and leadership and toughness," Franklin said.
McSorley tested Franklin's toughness as he playfully punched Franklin in the ribs after the quarterback's first touchdown pass of the game, something former offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead used to do to Franklin after every score. McSorley's legs helped keep Washington's defense honest as he gashed them for a long gain of 24 yards and also worked from the sideline while offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne called the game from the booth.