(Saturday, October 10th)
Final Score: (14) Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois 3
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Daryll Clark passed for 234 yards with three touchdowns and ran for another score, as 14th-ranked Penn State destroyed Eastern Illinois, 52-3, at Beaver Stadium.
Clark finished 13-of-19 and also was intercepted once, while Stephfon Green rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown for Penn State (5-1), which has won two straight after dropping a 21-10 decision to Iowa on September 26.
Kevin Newsome came in for mop-up duty in the third quarter and completed 4-of- 5 passes for 34 yards and also rushed seven times for 49 yards and a score for the Nittany Lions, who gave Penn State head coach Joe Paterno his 388th career victory.
Evan Royster chipped in with 94 yards on the ground on eight touches and Navorro Bowman added a 91-yard fumble return for a TD for PSU, which was playing its final non-conference game of the season. Chaz Powell had four grabs for 79 yards, including a 51-yard TD, in the win.
"We seemed a little sharper on some things and I think that was the biggest thing," Paterno said about the offense. "I think we had a little confidence that we got last week, feeling like we can run the ball and throw the ball. So I think those are the two biggest things. Obviously the challenges are only going to be a lot steeper from here on out."
Jake Christensen completed 13-of-25 passes for 137 yards and was picked once, while Mon Williams rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries for Eastern Illinois (4-2), which has lost two in a row after winning its first four games to start the season. The Panthers were ranked 25th in the most recent Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision Top-25 Poll coming in.
"Well, we were outmatched, outplayed," Eastern Illinois head coach Bob Spoo said. "Our guys hung in there the best they could do, but you know, you come out here like that and give them opportunities and didn't get any of ours. We're just going to go back home and get ready for our conference now, that's all we can do."
PSU opened the scoring on its first offensive possession of the game when Clark banged in from a yard out, capping a 10-play, 85-yard drive. The Nittany Lions signal-caller completed three of his four passes for 39 yards in the set.
Collin Wagner's 25-yard field goal late in the first quarter put the hosts up by a 10-0 score.
After Austin Signor missed a 46-yard field goal try for Eastern Illinois early in the second, Penn State quickly found the end zone again, marching 71 yards on six plays. Brett Brackett took a two-yard dump pass from Clark and rumbled into the end zone for a Lions a 17-point cushion.
Then following another failed Panthers offensive set, Clark aired it out and hit Powell with a 51-yard TD pass with nearly 4 1/2 minutes left in the second.
Andrew Dailey's blocked punt led to another PSU score with just over two minutes remaining in the half. On the second play, a Clark-to-Derek Moye 25- yard connection stretched the Lions lead to 31-0.
With the Panthers facing a 3rd-and-goal on the Penn State eight-yard line with 23 ticks remaining, Bowman picked up a Christensen fumble and sprinted 91 yards to paydirt, giving the hosts a commanding 38-point advantage heading into the break.
EIU got on the board on its first offensive set of the second half when Signor connected from 43-yards out, making it a 38-3 game. However, PSU quickly responded when Green ran over left tackle and sprinted 26 yards to the end zone with nearly 6 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Newsome got in on the scoring action with a nine-yard TD run early in the fourth to account for the final margin.
It was the first-ever meeting between the two teams...Penn State will host Minnesota on October 17, while Eastern Illinois entertains Tennessee Tech...The Panthers fell to 4-22 all-time against teams that make up the FBS, with their last win coming over Eastern Michigan in 2004...Penn State linebacker Sean Lee missed his third straight game with a left knee injury.
10/10 18:03:44 ET