(Saturday, September 18th)
Final Score: (22) Penn State 24, Kent State 0
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Rob Bolden completed 17-of-27 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another score, as 22nd-ranked Penn State defeated Kent State, 24-0, at Beaver Stadium.
Evan Royster rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown and Devon Smith pulled in a 48-yard touchdown reception for Penn State (2-1), which was able to recover after being handled by top-ranked Alabama, 24-3, last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Derek Moye chipped in with four receptions for 87 yards in the victory.
"We were a little more sound defensively," Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said. "We hustled to the ball a little bit better. I thought the tackling overall was a little bit better. We still have a long way to go. We were vague in one spot and we went a little bit backwards in other spots. But I think if we keep working at it, we will end up being a decent football team. But we got a ways to go yet."
Spencer Keith threw for 170 yards and two interceptions on 20-of-36 attempts for Kent State (1-2), which suffered its second straight loss. The Golden Flashes dropped a 26-13 loss to Boston College last weekend.
"We played a really good football team today," Kent State head coach Doug Martin said. "I was really proud of our effort especially on the defensive side of the ball. We played about as well as we could play and we put our defense in some tough situations with turnovers early in the game. Those turnovers were really the difference."
Penn State struck first thanks in part to an interception by D'Anton Lynn on the Golden Flashes' first offensive set. After the pick put the Lions on the KSU 45, Bolden completed a seven-yard pass to Moye, then three runs and a catch by Royster advanced the ball to the 14. Following a Lions' third-down conversion coupled with a roughing-the-passer call that moved it to the three, Bolden banged in on 3rd-and-goal from the one.
It quickly became a 14-0 game as the Flashes were forced to punt and Penn State took over on its own 30. Bolden aired it out and hit Moye for 55 yards to the Kent State 15. After another Lions' first down, Royster capped the set with a three-yard run with a shade over four minutes left in the opening quarter.
Neither team could get anything going offensively in the second stanza, and Derrick Thomas' interception of Keith at the PSU six in the waning moments of the half preserved the 14-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Penn State started the second half with back-to-back turnovers, via a fumble and a Bolden interception, but a missed field goal and punt kept the Flashes off the board.
The Nittany Lions made it a three-possession game when Collin Wagner drilled a 27-yard field goal, which capped a time-consuming 17-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:56 off the game clock. The hosts took a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Wagner's 43-yard effort drifted wide left early in the fourth, but again Kent State was unable to capitalize. Penn State then turned a block punt into another score when Bolden hit a wide-open Smith for a 48-yard touchdown with nearly 8 1/2 minutes to play.
Kent State never threatened the outcome in the closing minutes.
Penn State hosts Temple next Saturday, while Kent State has a bye week before visiting Miami-Ohio on October 2nd...The Nittany Lions improved to 3-0 all-time against KSU...Stephfon Green rushed for 59 yards on 11 carries for PSU...The Nittany Lions totaled 382 yards of offense compared to 228 for Kent State...Jacquise Terry had 11 carries for 39 yards for the Flashes.
09/18 16:24:13 ET