Penn State Football Wins For Ryan Keiser

Despite missing a veteran member of the unit, Penn State’s defense stepped up to the challenge on Saturday with a 13-7 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. The missing teammate is senior safety Ryan Keiser, who has spent two weeks in the hospital after undergoing multiple emergency surgeries after suffering a bowel injury.

While some players said that they were thinking about avenging last year’s 44-24 defeat in Memorial Stadium, the sentiment most widely heard from the Nittany Lions after the game was that they won for Keiser.

“I’d say we were playing it for him,” linebacker Mike Hull said. “He said all he wanted was for us to get a win so bad, so he was definitely in the back of all of our minds. We knew what we had to do and we executed it and it’s special to be able to do that for a guy like Keiser who loves to be out there every Saturday.”

The team sent Keiser a picture after the game, posing with his jersey in the locker room to celebrate the victory.

While it might not seem like much for a kid who has spent the last two weeks at the Hershey Medical Center, it likely meant the world to Keiser, who told the team that all he wanted was for them to win. A contingent of coaches and players went to Hershey to visit Keiser on Wednesday.

“Everything we asked him about what we could do to help him, all he wanted to talk about was the team,” James Franklin said. “All he wanted was the win.”

Anthony Zettel was emotional after the game while talking about his ailing teammate.

“Keiser is one of those guys that, every day, he comes to work,” Zettel said. “He’s a really religious guy that really cares about us and God and stuff. Getting this win for him is really emotional for all of us.”

When they talk about playing “inspired” football, this is what they mean.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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