(Saturday, October 17th)
Final Score: (14) Penn State 20, Minnesota 0
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Darryl Clark threw for 287 yards, including a touchdown and ran for another score, as 14th-ranked Penn State defeated Minnesota, 20-0, in a Big Ten matchup at Beaver Stadium.
Clark completed 21-of-32 throws, while Evan Royster ran for 137 yards on 23 touches for Penn State (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten), which hammered Eastern Illinois 52-3 last Saturday. The Lions have won three straight since falling to Iowa on September 26.
Derek Moye added six catches for 120 yards and a score for the Nittany Lions, who registered their 40th shutout under head coach Joe Paterno.
"We did move the ball well, I think that was obvious, but we didn't do a particularly good job in the red zone," Paterno said. "We came away with a couple of field goals, and then we missed another one. I think the penalties hurt us, I think a couple of dropped passes hurt us. I don't think we played a really sharp game offensively. We played hard and made plays when we had to make them."
Adam Webber struggled mightily, connecting on only 10-of-22 passes for 101 yards and was intercepted once for Minnesota (4-3, 2-2), which earned a 35-20 win over Purdue last weekend. The Gophers, who have dropped three of five, were limited to only 138 yards of total offense.
Eric Decker had one reception for 42 yards in defeat.
"Obviously, disappointed to lose the football game," Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster said. "We didn't play well enough offensively to sustain anything really from the beginning. Give credit where credit is due. Penn State was better than we were and I thought they played extremely well. Penn State's defense is outstanding. We still, obviously, have a lot of things that we need to improve upon offensively to be a better football team, a better offensive football team."
Penn State opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when Collin Wagner drilled a 47-yard field goal to cap a six-play, 32-yard drive. Wagner then booted a 24-yarder on the first play on the second stanza for a 6-0 Nittany Lions' advantage.
PSU then found the end zone with 35 seconds left in the half, going 91 yards on 12 plays. Clark, who completed 6-of-7 throws in the set, quickly guided the offense to a 1st-and-goal situation on the Minnesota seven-yard line. After a Clark five-yard run, a holding call moved the ball back to the 12 before the QB hit an outstretched Moye in the end zone. The catch was initially ruled incomplete, but after a booth review the call was overturned and the Lions took a 13-0 into the intermission.
Clark went over the pile for a one-yard scoring dive late in the third quarter, putting the finishing touches on a 13-play, 85-yard set to stretch the PSU lead to 20.
Minnesota threatened on its next possession as Webber connected with Decker for 42 yards, taking it to the Penn State 34. Later in the drive, the Gophers would then have it 1st-and-goal from the eight, but the Lions defense would stiffen and on fourth down from the one, Kevin Whaley was stopped short of the goal line.
Penn State took control of the game the rest of the way and eventually ran out the clock to preserve the win.
Penn State will play at Michigan next Saturday, while Minnesota visits Ohio State...The Nittany Lions improved to 7-4 all-time versus the Gophers...PSU has now won 32 of its last 35 games at Beaver Stadium...Penn State star linebacker Sean Lee returned after missing the previous three games with a sprained left knee and finished with two total tackles.
10/17 20:29:45 ET