Nittany Lions run all over Coastal Carolina
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Evan Royster and Stephfon Green combined to score five rushing touchdowns to lead the 22nd-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions to a 66-10 demolition of the overmatched Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Beaver Stadium.
Royster finished with 64 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, while Green led the ground attack with 89 yards and a pair of scores for the Nittany Lions (1-0), who have won seven straight and 16 of their last 18 season openers. Penn State, which has won 32 of its last 41 games overall, was facing Coastal Carolina for the first time.
The victory was the 373rd in Joe Paterno's career, as he tied Florida State coach Bobby Bowden for the all-time lead among major college coaches.
"I haven't even thought about it and I'm not going to," said Paterno. "I can only say it so many times. It's not a big deal to me. I just can't seem to get that across."
Daryll Clark, who beat out Pat Devlin for the starting quarterback position in the spring, threw for 146 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-14 passing. Devlin saw action on the day as well, ending 5-for-8 for 83 yards. Jordan Norwood came down with four catches for 74 yards and a TD for Penn State.
"I always told myself to set goals," said Green. "My goal was to get three (touchdowns) and I got two. I tried to catch up with Royster when he got three. Two was my real goal, and I got that."
Chanticleers quarterback William Richardson passed for 131 yards on a 13-of-22 clip, while fellow signal-caller Zach MacDowall ended 5-of-9 through the air for 67 yards, including a 33-yard scoring strike to Trent Usher. Usher had 50 yards on three receptions, as Coastal Carolina (0-1) opened its sixth football season in school history. A Big South Conference contender, Coastal Carolina was playing against its first Football Bowl Subdivision foe.
"I didn't want to get embarrassed," said Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett. "We didn't do as well as we should have, but we were outmanned. Nine starters on offense, seven on defense. They are a good football team. They are one of the best in the country. I think they will be top ten in the country."
Penn State jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of touchdown runs by Royster. He opened the scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run at 11:02 of the first quarter, then wiggled his way into the end zone from two yards away with about six minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
After Coastal Carolina cracked the scoreboard on MacDowell's 33-yard touchdown strike to Usher early in the second quarter, the Nittany Lions turned the contest into a lopsided affair by scoring 52 straight points for a commanding 66-7 advantage.
An 89-yard kickoff return for a TD by highly-touted wideout Derrick Williams gave PSU a 21-7 cushion just seconds after Usher's score. Clark then fired a five-yard scoring pass to Norwood before a seven-yard touchdown run by Green and a 21-yard field goal from Kevin Kelly pushed the Penn State lead to 38-7 at halftime.
Royster's 10-yard touchdown run followed by Green's seven-yard scoring scamper and Chaz Powell's 55-yard burst into the end zone pushed the mark to 59-7 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter.
Brandon Beechum's one-yard scoring plunge with 4:23 to go in the fourth quarter made it a 66-7 contest. The Chanticleers, however, finally answered again on Justin Durham's 31-yard field goal as time expired.
Penn State enters the 2008 campaign having won three straight bowl games, including an Alamo Bowl victory over Texas A&M last December...The Lions scored 24 points in the second quarter...Former Penn State running backs Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell were in attendance...Penn State is 101-19-2 in the first contest of the season...The Lions improved to 36-7 in season openers under Paterno, who improved to 373-125-3 as head coach in Happy Valley...Paterno is in his 43rd season as head coach of Penn State and 57th as a member of the coaching staff...In its brief history of 57 games, the Chanticleers have yet to be held scoreless, the longest current streak in the Big South Conference...Bennett is 39-18 at the university...Penn State had 334 yards rushing to Coastal Carolina's 52 yards on the ground.
08/30 18:16:18 ET