No. 7 Penn State Trounces Delaware 63-7
No. 7 Penn State (2-0) blew out the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (1-1) 63-7 Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State’s running backs torched Delaware with 315 yards and four touchdowns, and the Nittany Lions led 35-7 after the first half. James Franklin’s team continued to run the score up in the second half, ultimately winning 63-7 to start the season 2-0.
How It Happened
Delaware had a three-and-out to open the game, with quarterback Ryan O’Connor throwing two incomplete passes. Penn State then relied heavily on the run game in its inaugural drive, with Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen combining for 44 yards in the 13-play sequence. A two-yard run by Singleton capped off the sequence to make it 7-0 Penn State with 8:19 left in the first quarter.
Jaylen Reed lit up O’Connor to continue the momentum, sacking the quarterback for seven yards to hand Delaware its second consecutive three-and-out drive.
Penn State narrowly climbed out of a hole in its second drive after a holding penalty set the offense back 10 yards in the red zone, with Drew Allar completing a four-yard pass to Harrison Wallace III. Three plays later, the Nittany Lions reverted to the ground attack again, with Kaytron Allen barreling into the end zone to make it 14-0 with 2:16 left in the opening quarter.
In response, the Blue Hens gained their inaugural first down of the game and then some. Facing 3rd-and-1, running back Marcus Yarns broke through a hole and took it all the way to the house for a 66-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7 with 1:05 left in the quarter.
Allar found more of his stride to begin the second quarter. He tossed a 19-yard dot to KeAndre Lambert-Smith to put Penn State at Delaware’s 30-yard line, then completed an 18-yard pass to Singleton two plays later. Then, with 11:50 left in the second quarter, Singleton scored his second rushing touchdown of the day to make it 21-7 Nittany Lions.
Zach Marker replaced O’Connor as Delaware’s signal-caller for a drive. After completing a four-yard pass to Jojo Bermudez, Marker scrambled for a two-yard gain to bring up 4th-and-1. However, an offside penalty against Penn State on the punt gave Delaware a fresh set of downs. The Blue Hens’ struggles on offense continued, as they failed to capitalize with another three-and-out.
Although Allar continued to look sharp with three completions, the running game continued torching the Manny Rojas’ defense. Singleton and Allen combined for 23 yards on the drive over five rushing plays, with the former scoring his third touchdown of the afternoon at 4:36 in the second quarter to expand the lead to 28-7.
Now back in the game, O’Connor narrowly avoided throwing an interception, as Dom DeLuca dropped the ball at Delaware’s 12-yard line. O’Connor was chased repeatedly by Nittany Lions as he scrambled in the end zone, but he eventually completed a nine-yard pass to Jourdan Townsend to give his team some breathing room. It wasn’t enough for a first down, and Ryan Kost punted the ball away.
Penn State had its first drive without scoring, as Allar threw two consecutive incomplete passes while under defensive pressure. However, Delaware once again followed it up with a three-and-out.
Allar’s next drive was much better, though. First, the Ohio native had a 13-yard rush to gain a first down. Then, he completed three straight passes for a combined 31 yards, following it up with a two-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Warren with 22 seconds left in the first half to make it 35-7. It was Penn State’s first passing touchdown of the game. O’Connor took the knee, which concluded the first half.
Penn State’s offense was once again on point to begin the second half. The Nittany Lions’ drive lasted 11 plays and 64 yards, concluding with Allar edging his way into the end zone for a one-yard rushing touchdown to make it 41-7 with 9:48 remaining in the third quarter.
Then, Keaton Ellis forced the ball out of Yarns’ grasp, which Kevin Winston Jr. recovered for the first turnover of the game and season for Penn State. Beau Pribula replaced Allar at quarterback, whose offense had trouble starting the drive after losing 10 total yards on a false start and then a backfired run from Singleton.
Pribula, however, stayed on the field for 4th-and-3 and blazed through the Delaware defense for an 18-yard gain. Pribula followed suit on the next play, scoring a touchdown to make it 49-7 with 7:16 remaining in the quarter.
O’Connor was sacked for the second time in the game, as this time Zane Durant handed him an eight-yard loss. Pribula remained in the game, but the offense didn’t generate any points as Riley Thompson punted the ball away.
Then, Zach Marker threw the ball straight to DeLuca, and he didn’t drop it this time. DeLuca picked the pass off and ran 26 yards into the end zone to make it 56-7 with 2:43 left in the third quarter.
By the end of the third quarter, Penn State’s backups were in the game. One such backup, Jameial Lyons, made his presence known by sacking Marker, crushing the quarterback for a four-yard loss.
Delaware didn’t generate any offense the rest of the drive. Alex Schmoke’s attempted field goal was no good, and Penn State took over on downs. The drive culminated in Pribula throwing a touchdown pass to Omari Evans, which made the score 63-7 with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter.
- Penn State’s ground game dominated. Singleton and Allen combined for 150 yards and four touchdowns, showing the nation why they’re considered to be one of college football’s best backfields.
- Allar had another productive day. The sophomore threw 204 yards and one touchdown pass while completing 22-for-26 passing attempts.
- Manny Diaz’s defense kept Delaware in check throughout the game. Only 140 yards were allowed the whole game while two turnovers occurred.
- Alex Felkins and Sander Sahaydak had reps in what has become an ongoing kicker battle, and each was perfect. This is worth watching as the season progresses.
Penn State has its first Big Ten game of the season against the Illinois Fighting Illini at 12 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, September 16 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois.
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About the Author
“Guys, it’s Northwestern.”
Carson Pedaci learned the iconic drum major flip from scratch, and so far, he’s executed flawlessly.
While the Nittany Lions are winning games, they’re still lacking big plays for big yards.