Penn State Cruises to a 24-0 Win
“I thought today we improved a little bit,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. However, he added, “We got a ways to go yet.”
The improvement was seen very early in the game. Cornerback D’Anton Lynn got Penn State’s first defensive turnover of the season when he intercepted a pass on Kent State’s first drive. The Nittany Lions followed that up by going on a 10-play, 45-yard drive that ended in a running touchdown by quarterback Rob Bolden.
Penn State continued to play well, stopping Kent State on their second series. Following that, Bolden completed a 55-yard pass to wide receiver Derek Moye that helped to set up tailback Evan Royster’s first touchdown of the season. The Lions were out to an early 14-0 lead, but several mistakes in the second quarter would mean that neither team would score again until after the half.
A Royster fumble and a Bolden interception would end Penn State’s first two drives of the second half. After this point, tailback Stephfon Green would carry much of the running load. Royster would end the game having rushed for only 38 yards on eleven carries.
Green was a vital component of the Penn State offense in the second half. He featured in their only scoring drive of the third quarter–a 17-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a field goal. Green’s play in the second half led many to wonder who the starting tailback might be in the future.
“I’m trying my best to do things to establish myself,” Green said. “I practice hard. I finish all my runs. I pick up every blocker. I push myself to the limit.”
Penn State scored once more in the fourth quarter to finish the game 24-0. Bolden made a nice 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devon Smith that put the game out of reach. The defense was solid throughout. Despite giving up 228 yards, they picked off Kent State quarterback Spencer Keith twice and shut out the Golden Flashes, who had only one field goal attempt to their credit. There had been some concern about the defense due to their problems tackling and forcing turnovers so far this season.
“The shutout was necessary,” defensive end Pete Massaro said after his first ever start for Penn State. “We’re just going to get better from here.”
Penn State will hope to improve even more when they face a tough Temple team next weekend.