[Live Blog] Penn State vs. San Diego State
Good afternoon and welcome back to football, Penn State fans! The Nittany Lions are hosting the San Diego State Aztecs in today’s non-conference matchup. We will have updates throughout the game on this page, including game analysis, photos, and more. Here’s the media information you’ll need, and here’s our staff’s game predictions.
0:00 – Today’s final score: 37-21 Penn State. Thanks for following along!
1:00 – Chris Gulla’s punt skips into the end zone for a touchback. San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith completes a 18-yard pass to Mikah Holder, but the Aztecs can’t get anything going as time expires.
2:34 – Penn State takes over on downs and looks to use as much clock as possible before eventually settling to punt the ball away.
5:04 – Chris Godwin and Christian Campbell combine for an outstanding special teams tackle to stifle San Diego State’s punt return. Quarterback Maxwell Smith connects with Donnel Pumphrey for a 30-yard gain to the Aztecs’ 49-yard-line. Brandon Bell absolutely destroys Smith as he falls out-of-bounds on a pass attempt. An offensive pass interference call is declined by the Nittany Lions.
6:53 – DeAndre Thompkins stutter-steps his way to a nimble punt return, but the offense backs up after a holding call. Mark Allen picks up six yards on third-and-17 but Chris Gulla makes his way back out onto the field to punt it away.
9:52 – Kicker Joey Julius with another touchback. San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith finds Donnel Pumphrey for a 14-yard gain to get the Aztecs’ drive going. Smith’s pass intended for Christian Cumberlander is broken up thanks to some impressive coverage by cornerback Trevor Williams. The Aztecs punt following an incomplete pass on third-and-15.
12:43 – Following a lackluster punt, the Nittany Lions get things started on their own 39-yard-line. Mark Allen rattles off a nifty catch and run for 16 yards into San Diego State territory. Running back Nick Scott takes a toss to the right and completes a spectacular trick play to Chris Godwin for 32 yards. However, a couple incompletions in the red zone forces Joey Julius on to attempt a 26 yarder, which he drills down the middle. 37-21 Penn State.
13:44 – Rashaad Penny returns the kickoff to San Diego State’s 37-yard-line. But three-straight incompletions and a seven-yard sack by Penn State defensive end Curtis Cothran forces an Aztecs punt.
15:00 – San Diego State continues its drive at its own 45-yard-line. Maxwell Smith’s pass complete to Mikah Holder for 31 yards into Penn State territory. The Aztecs fumble the very next play but are able to recover it. Carl Nassib sacks Smith, forcing another fumble on third-and-11, which is scooped up and returned 70 yards by defensive tackle Austin Johnson for the touchdown. 34-21 Penn State.
2:19 – San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith completes a pair of passes to Chase Price to keep the Aztecs’ drive going heading into the fourth quarter.
4:13 – Christian Hackenberg gets Penn State’s drive off to a solid start by connecting with tight end Kyle Carter for 35 yards. But, another sack forces the Nittany Lions to punt the ball away to the San Diego State 19-yard-line.
6:19 – Donnel Pumphrey makes a few Nittany Lions miss before picking up 18 yards into Penn State territory. However, San Diego State’s offense stalls and brings out the punting unit, but not before linebacker Brandon Bell is helped off the field after being shaken up.
8:11 – Penn State’s Koa Farmer leaps over an Aztec defender on his way to an impressive return to the 26-yard-line. Nick Scott starts the drive at tailback for the Nittany Lions. Three-and-out for the offense as Chris Gulla punts the ball to the San Diego State 38-yard-line.
11:23 – DeAndre Thompkins fumbles the 48-yard punt. San Diego State takes over on the Nittany Lions’ 21-yard-line. Pass interference called on Penn State’s Trevor Williams in the end zone. Automatic first down for the Aztecs at the two-yard-line. Following a San Diego State timeout, running back Donnel Pumphrey is stuffed on back-to-back plays. However, an offsides call against the Nittany Lions sets up third-and-goal from the one and Pumphrey punches it in for a touchdown. 27-21 Penn State.
12:22 – The Aztecs start the drive on their 27-yard-line, but a quick three-and-out forces San Diego State to send out its punting unit.
15:00 – Nick Scott takes the second half kickoff back 28 yards from Penn State’s goal line. Mark Allen is in at running back as it remains to be seen whether Saquon Barkley or Akeel Lynch will be back after sustaining injuries in the first half. Allen and the offense sputtered to a mere 10 yards before sending Chris Gulla on to punt the ball away.
0:17 – Another Joey Julius kickoff goes for a touchback. A pair of back-to-back timeouts prolonged the end of the half, but San Diego State eventually takes a knee, sending both teams to their respective locker rooms. 27-14 Penn State.
0:55 – Christian Hackenberg is sacked on first down for a loss of three, but connects on back-to-back plays with Kyle Carter and DaeSean Hamilton respectively to pick up a big first down. Hackenberg then looked for Chris Godwin three plays in a row, but after two-straight incompletions Godwin hauled in an 11-yard pass and went up and over the goal line for an emphatic score before the half. 27-14 Penn State.
1:03 – Following the Joey Julius kickoff, San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey quickly coughed up the ball the next play for a fumble recovery by Anthony Zettel on the Aztecs’ own 23-yard-line.
2:33 – Penn State started in excellent position on the Aztecs’ 27-yard-line following the fumble recovery. Christian Hackenberg found DaeSean Hamilton for 13 yards, but Akeel Lynch went down the very next play with an injury and was helped off the field by members of the training staff. Hackenberg promptly tossed a screen out to running back Mark Allen, who dove full extension for a touchdown over the goal line. 20-14 Penn State.
4:57 – DeAndre Thompkins makes a few Aztec players miss with some nifty moves on a 10-yard punt return. Penn State’s offense started its next drive off slowly, but a crucial pass interference call against San Diego State kept the chains moving. The Nittany Lions and Chris Gulla were eventually forced to boot the ball away, but Lloyd Mills muffed the punt deep in San Diego State’s territory and Chris Godwin recovered the fumble.
6:25 – San Diego State got its next drive off to a fast start thanks to another impressive kickoff return to set up good field position. However, as the Aztecs approached mid-field, defensive end Carl Nassib came up with a huge third-down sack to force the punt.
10:23 – Penn State returner Nick Scott brought the kick back 24 yards to the Nittany Lions’ 32-yard-line. Christian Hackenberg connects with Saeed Blacknall on third-and-six to move the chains. Hackenberg found DaeSean Hamilton the very next play for 14 more, but an illegal procedure stalled the drive and the offense was unable to get things going again. Joey Julius trotted out to attempt a 55-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked by San Diego State’s Kyle Kelley.
11:59 – Joey Julius’ kick goes for a touchback. Rashaad Penny was at it again for the Aztecs as he exploded for a 55-yard run down the left sideline. Two plays later, despite an illegal procedure penalty, San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith found Mikah Holder for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The Aztecs made that one look easy. Three plays and 75 yards later, 14-13 San Diego State.
14:37 – Penn State quickly drove down the field thanks to another bomb from Christian Hackenberg to Saeed Blacknall for 46 yards. Another big Saquon Barkley run for 21 yards set the Nittany Lions up in nice position, but three-straight incompletions forced Joey Julius on for another field goal attempt. Julius nailed the 24 yarder. 13-7 Penn State.
15:00 – San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith’s pass intended for Donnel Pumphrey is broken up by linebacker Jason Cabinda. Tanner Blain’s 42-yard punt is fair caught by DeAndre Thompkins.
0:43 – Joey Julius launched the kickoff deep to San Diego State, but thankfully this time Penny didn’t take it to the house. The Aztecs completed a two-yard pass to Lloyd Mills to set up third-and-eight. That’s the end of the first quarter. 10-7 Penn State.
4:01 – Penn State rattled off a steady seven-play, 53-yard drive to respond. Saquon Barkley flew past the Aztecs for a 34-yard gain before Chris Godwin hauled in a 16-yard catch from Christian Hackenberg. However, a Hackenberg toss to DaeSean Hamilton hit the ground on third-and-11, forcing Joey Julius and the special teams unit onto the field. Julius nailed the 40-yard kick with ease. 10-7 Penn State.
4:20 – Joey Julius sent the kickoff deep to San Diego State return man Rashaad Penny, who promptly burst through a hole and took the back 100 yards for a touchdown. It was his second kickoff return score on the season. 7-7.
8:02 – True freshman Saquon Barkley started Penn State’s drive with a rush for no gain, but a smooth Christian Hackenberg rollout strike to Chris Godwin on second down was enough to move the chains. Barkley picked up five yards on first, but the next play a botched snap resulted in a 17-yard loss. However, San Diego State was called for a personal foul, which gave the Nittany Lions a huge first down. Hackenberg found receiver Saeed Blacknall on a beautiful deep ball for 45 yards down the right sideline. A few plays later, Hackenberg dished out a short screen pass to Barkley, who promptly spun his way to an incredible 22-yard touchdown. The PAT by Joey Julius was good. 7-0 Penn State.
9:26 – The Aztecs continued to rush the ball into the heart of Penn State’s front seven, but Bob Shoop’s defense responded by stuffing the running lanes and forcing San Diego State into third-and-long. Quarterback Maxwell Smith’s pass was batted down to bring the punting team back out onto the field.
12:47 – DeAndre Thompkins fielded the punt, but was brought down after a short gain. Penn State’s offense mixed run and pass on its opening drive with Akeel Lynch and Chris Godwin picking up some decent yardage here and there. However, quarterback Christian Hackenberg was flushed out of the pocket and brought down on third-and-long, forcing Chris Gulla to punt the ball away.
15:00 – San Diego State won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Kicker Joey Julius booted the ball deep into the Aztecs’ end zone for a touchback. San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey started the drive with a shifty 10-yard scamper, but the Nittany Lions’ defense stepped up the next three plays. Defensive end Garrett Sickels sacked San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith for a loss of seven to force the play.
The tailgate lots are full on a beautiful Saturday morning. Three hours to go, Penn State. pic.twitter.com/TQzo3pdNBO
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 26, 2015
No better place to be than tailgating with the best in Happy Valley!
James Franklin’s Nittany Lions are ready to go as they walk from the iconic blue buses to Beaver Stadium.
One hour until the beast is unleashed. pic.twitter.com/bx57oQUNn4
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 26, 2015
Joey Julius gets his “Big Toe” warmed up for today’s matchup with the Aztecs.
Looks like starting safety Jordan Lucas is in street clothes while the rest of the Nittany Lions are warming up.
— Onward Sports (@OnwardStSports) September 26, 2015
Redshirt junior Malik Golden figures to be the primary candidate to start in place of Lucas today.