MAN OF THE HOUR: Penn State running back Tony Hunt ended his career in style, pounding out 158 yards on 31 carries to become the second-leading rusher in school history. That's amazing stuff considering the offensive lines he's played behind. This guy will be a steal in the NFL Draft.
TURNING POINT: No brainer time: PSU linebacker Sean Lee stripped Arian Foster in the fourth quarter, and cornerback Tony Davis scooped up the pigskin and ran 88 yards for his second TD of the season. The play gave PSU a 17-10 lead and destroyed Tennessee's confidence.
SOLID STRATEGY: It got a bit scary at times, but by playing off the Volunteer receivers, the PSU secondary kept the action in front of it. UT QB Erik Ainge passed for 267 yards but no TDs.
NUMBERS GAME: Penn State held the ball for 33:02 to Tennessee's 26:58.
HIT SQUAD: Safety Anthony Scirrotto obliterated Volunteer Jayson Swain early in the third quarter, forcing the wideout to drop what appeared to be a sure catch. Swain stayed on the turf for a few minutes before walking to the sideline. To his credit, he was back on then field within a few plays. Tough stuff both ways.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Derrick Williams' 20-yard punt return gave the Lions good field position on a drive that led to a field goal and 20-10 lead.
WHAT'S UP WITH? All of the reviews by the Big East crew? Were these guys getting paid by the replay?
HEADS-UP: End Jim Shaw alertly smothered a Foster fumble on an attempted reverse in the second quarter.
HIDDEN HEROES: State's much-maligned offensive line played well, especially the left side of Levi Brown at tackle and Robert Price at guard. Nice to see two seniors get the job done in their final game.
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: State's much-maligned passing game stepped up in this one, with quarterback Anthony Morelli hitting seven different receivers.
DID YOU NOTICE?
PSU All-American linebacker Paul Posluszny did not wear a knee brace for the first time all season. He finished with eight tackles and two and half stops behind the line.
The team logos did not appear in the end zones, as is customary in bowl games. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon and there was not time to lay down new paint.
Former Lions on the sideline included Ki-Jana Carter, O.J. McDuffie, Chafie Fields and Leonard Humphries, to name a few.
Penn State did not commit a turnover for the first time this season.
Lion place-kicker Kevin Kelly missed three of five boots.
UNANSWERED QUESTION: Does this New Year's Day showing portend good things for the rest of 2007?