Freshman QB, Special Teams Drown Youngstown State
The unprecedented move to start freshman quarterback Rob Bolden has been a swirling topic all week, but with a 2-touchdown and a 239-yard performance, Bolden made the decision look like a no-brainer leading the Nittany Lions to a 44-14 victory.
The offense opened the day with a 3-and-out and was forced to punt its only punt of the day. Afterwards, Penn State never looked back, accumulating 371 total offensive yards, 22 first downs, four touchdowns and three 40-plus yard field goals.
The defense had a similarly slow start. Boasting at least 8 players with previous playing experience, they were quickly brought back to reality when Youngstown State standout Dominique Barnes burned them for an 80-yard touchdown with less than 3 minutes in the 1st quarter.
However, that would be the last of the Penguin’s points until Ely Ducactel hauled in a 7-yard touchdown against the backup defense late in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps the biggest key to Penn State’s success, though, came from the special teams unit, which underachieved in 2009.
Penn State took total control of the game on the opening kickoff of the 2nd half when senior Chaz Powell bolted up the sideline for a return of 100 yards for a touchdown, the longest Penn State kickoff return since 1975.
The kicking game was spot-on as well. Senior Collin Wagner drained three field goals from 40 yards or more, including a career long of 49 yards. He also added 3 extra points.
Senior Evan Royster tripped up a couple times and never could break the big run everyone has been waiting for. He tallied only 40 yards on 11 carries, leaving him 441 yards behind the Penn State all-time rushing record.