[Live Blog] Penn State vs. Kent State
Good afternoon from rainy, cloudy Beaver Stadium where the Nittany Lions (2-1) are set to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-2) this afternoon. We will have updates throughout the game on this page, including game photos, scores, analysis, and more. Our sports editor, Zach Berger, is in the press box keeping you all informed while photographers Mitchell Wilston and Bobby Chen will be braving the elements and providing shots from the field.
7:00 p.m. — The Nittany Lions shut out the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday at Beaver Stadium, winning 34-0.
6:39 p.m. — Zach Zwinak takes it up the middle on fourth down and the Nittany Lions will have a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line! And on the next play… TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE!!! Zach Zwinak gets it in for his third touchdown of the game.
6:25 p.m. — Sam Ficken hit a 25-yard field goal to put the Nittany Lions ahead 24-0. The team’s last shutout was by that exact score against Kent State in 2010.
6:16 p.m. — At the end of the third quarter, the Nittany Lions lead 21-0 thanks to two Zach Zwinak touchdowns runs and a Bill Belton touchdown catch. The pass game has stumbled in the rain, but the RBs are full speed ahead. Belton, Lynch, and Zwinak have 216 yards on 29 carries. Christian Hackenberg is 12-for-32 with 149 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. Kent State’s quarterback, Colin Reardon, isn’t doing any better. Reardon is 12-for-26 with 100 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception.
7:00 — The Nittany Lions shut out the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday at Beaver Stadium, winning 34-0.
6:11 p.m. — After another defensive stop, Akeel Lynch started off the next Penn State drive with a 43-yard run into Kent State territory. Time is winding down in the third quarter.
6:02 p.m. — Penn State scores agaian!!! A Bill Belton run was called a touchdown but he was later ruled to be down on the 1-yard line after a review. It didn’t matter though as Zach Zwinak dove over the pile on the next play for the score, his second touchdown run of the game. The Nittany Lions lead 21-0.
5:53 p.m. — AND PENN STATE ANSWERS WITH AN INTERCEPTION!!! Ryan Keiser comes up with the pick off of Colin Reardon, who sat our the previous series.
5:52 p.m. — Christian Hackenberg was intercepted on a pass down the left sideline intended for Allen Robinson. Kent State takes over at the 50-yard line. Reardon is coming back into the game.
5:41 p.m. — Kent State redshirt freshman quarterback Colin Reardon has been pulled for senior David Fisher. Reardon was 11-for-19 with 87 yards.
5:38 p.m. — Bill O’Brien isn’t going to let the rain keep him down.
5:35 p.m. — The defense held off Kent State to start out the half. The offense looked to be ready for another scoring drive as they quickly passed midfield and made it into Kent State territory, but a 4th-and-3 try from the 38-yard line was unsuccessful as Hackenberg threw an incomplete pass over the middle.
5:06 p.m. — At halftime, Penn State leads the Golden Flashes 14-0 thanks to a Zach Zwinak touchdown run and a Bill Belton touchdown reception. Christian Hackenberg is 11-for-21 with 142 yards and a touchdown. Bill Belton leads the way on the ground with eight rushes for 57 yards. Allen Robinson has been quiet for himself with three catches for 43 yards.
Expect O’Brien to open up the pass game a bit more in the second half with a comfortable lead. Kent State has just 101 yards of offense compared to Penn State’s 216. The defense needed a bounce-back performance after last week’s disappointment against UCF and they’ve done just that through thirty minutes of today’s game.
4:53 p.m. — The defense comes up with a big stop, giving the offense one last chance to score before halftime. Kent State will punt with 2:30 to go in the second quarter from their 44-yard line.
4:42 p.m. — The defense holds strong again and Kent State will punt with 6:15 to go in the first half. Another good offensive drive could put the Nittany Lions firmly in the driver’s seat heading into the second half.
4:34 p.m. — Sweet Caroline just made its return to Beaver Stadium, folks. I’ve never heard the crowd sing a song that enthusiastically before. Good times never seemed so good.
4:29 p.m. — Another great drive by the Penn State offense has put another seven points on the board. Bill Belton had a big run that got the Nittany Lions to the 27-yard line, but a facemask penalty moved the unit to the 12-yard line. Zach Zwinak eventually took it up the middle for a two-yard touchdown.
4:16 p.m. — Christian Hackenberg was 7-for-10 with 94 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. Belton has three rushes for 18 yards and one catch for 15 yards and a touchdown. Zach Zwinak had five rushes for 17 yards. The offense started off slow yet again but they managed to get on the board first and will look to take the momentum from that drive into the second quarter.
4:14 p.m. — TOUCHDOWN PENN STATE! On 3rd-and-goal from the 15-yard line Hackenberg finds Bill Belton who darts down the left sideline to the end zone. 7-0, Nittany Lions, at the end of the first quarter.
4:09 p.m. — Hackenberg finds tight end Kyle Carter on the first play of the ensuing drive for a 29-yard gain. A Bill Belton five-yard run follows that before Hack hits Robinson for an 18-yard gain. Penn State is quickly into Kent State territory on this possession.
3:59 p.m. — On the offense’s second possession, a couple good Zwinak runs and a couple Hackenberg completions took the unit to midfield. But a short run and two incomplete passes ended any hopes of a scoring drive. In better news, Hack punted to the 7-yard line. Can this kid do everything or what?
3:50 p.m. — The defense fended off Kent State, allowing one first down before holding them to a 31-yard field goal attempt. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, the kick sailed wide right and the game will remain scoreless and Penn State takes over on the 20-yard line.
3:44 p.m. — The opening drive stalled after a false start and a near-sack as Penn State is forced to punt it away. A fair-catch interference penalty gives Kent State good field position.
3:41 p.m. — Penn State has won the coin toss and will receive to start the game.
3:35 p.m. — Word in the press box is that kickoff was pushed back to 3:42. The team is on the field. On the attendance front, the crowd outside of the student section is pretty weak. The students have filled up all but the last five or so rows. And some of them wore speedos!
3:16 p.m. — Mike Hull is in street clothes on the sideline. It appears he won’t play today. He was not on the injury report. Hull can sit out today’s game, rest up during next week’s bye, and hopefully be ready to go when the Big Ten schedule kicks off against Indiana in two weeks.
3:03 p.m. — We’re just under half an hour from kickoff here and the student section is filling in nicely. The players are out on the field for their pre-game stretch. And the rain, well, the rain is still coming down.
2:33 p.m. — The rain is coming down hard and there’s no end in sight as a storm will have central Pennsylvania blanketed for the entire game. It will be interesting to see how that affects attendance this week. With an hour to kickoff, the student section is starting to fill in and the students are dancing in the rain. But the multi-colored ponchos are putting a bit of a damper on the Blue Out scheduled for this game.
2:23 p.m. — Hello, folks and welcome to the first live blog of the season. The football team arrived recently and was greeted by a large contingent of fans as you can see below. If you missed any of the coverage leading up to this week’s game or need some info on the weather, where to watch the game on television, and more, we have you covered.
If you’re craving more frequent updates on the game, head over to @OnwardState. If you want to see more pictures, we’ll be posting them on Facebook all game long. We’re a little over an hour away from kickoff here at Beaver Stadium. Get excited!