(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: (7) Penn State 28, Syracuse 7
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Evan Royster scored twice and Daryll Clark threw three touchdown passes, as seventh-ranked Penn State rolled past Syracuse, 28-7, at Beaver Stadium.
Clark, one week after taking home Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors, was an efficient 20-of-31 for 240 yards. Royster ran for 41 yards and caught two passes for 61 yards in the win. Graham Zug hauled in six passes for 79 yards as the Nittany Lions (2-0) had eight receivers on the stat sheet.
"Our defense did well, again, and bailed us out of a couple of situations where Syracuse scores, we are in a difficult game," Clark said. "Their defense did a pretty good job; they are definitely a different Syracuse team than who we played last season. They are really going to do good in the Big East, that is for sure."
Greg Paulus, the former Duke basketball player turned Syracuse graduate student and starting quarterback, was 14-of-20 for 105 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Orange (0-2) dropped their second straight game to a Big Ten opponent. Mike Williams had five catches for 54 yards in defeat.
"We missed some chances to take advantage of some of the situations we had," Paulus said. "I thought our guys played hard and put us in some good situations, especially in the second half. We have to convert those situations."
Penn State wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. After two low throws to start, Clark found his mark on a quick slant to the running back Royster, who spread out wide, hauled in the pass and streaked the rest of the way for a 49-yard touchdown.
The Nittany Lions then ventured on a 17-play, 94-yard drive that resulted in no points. Clark was efficient underneath, finding Zug for eight and 18 yards, then Stephfon Green found running room for a 14-yard gain. The signal-caller converted another third down on a 10-yard pass to Derek Moye, but the drive stalled on three straight runs inside the two and a fumbled snap on fourth down.
Penn State played the field position game for several series before striking paydirt on a 35-yard drive. Royster capped the quick five-play march by running untouched around left end for a 12-yard score.
It didn't take long to extend the two-touchdown edge in the third stanza. A nine-play, 76-yard march included an 11-yard strike on the run to the tight end Andrew Quarless and 12-yard passes to Zug and Moye. The TD march ended on Clark's 20-yard strike to Zug, who did a half slide to haul it in for the score.
The lead grew to 28-0 in the fourth as Penn State again failed to score on a running play inside the five, but eventually went to the air for the score, as Clark found reserve tight end Mickey Shuler for a one-yard touchdown.
Syracuse recovered a fumble late in the fourth and refused to be shut out. Paulus held the safety with a small pump fake and fired a 16-yard touchdown strike to Donte Davis on the first play after the turnover for the final margin.
Penn State had 318 total yards to just 200 for the Orange...In its first two games, Penn State has given up one first-half first down...The game featured just five penalties...The Nittany Lions have scored 52 first-half points and seven second-half points in their two games...This was the 70th meeting between the two schools, which played every year from 1944 to 1990. Penn State leads the all-time series, 42-23-5...Former Penn State running back Lenny Moore served as a honorary captain on Saturday.
09/12 20:55:57 ET