STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1) used a quick 14-0 start and let their defense cruise them to a shut-out victory over the Golden Flashes of Kent State at University Park today.
Freshmen quarterback Robert Bolden and running back Evan Royster put the Nittany Lions up 14-0 with rushing TD’s late in the first quarter. A shaky offense plagued Penn State for all of the second quarter and the first part of the third quarter. Three straight turnovers in Penn State territory nearly cost the Nittany Lions, but they were finally able to settle things down with their running attack. The combination of Even Royster and Stephfon Green were keys to calming things down and giving Penn State some breathing room.
The Kent State Golden Flashes (1-2) had multiple chances to score but were unable to get on the board. Robert Bolden showed his inexperience when he was picked off with 22 seconds left in the first half on the Penn State 45 yard line. Golden Flashes’ quarterback Spencer Keith, who showed a few accurate moments was picked off by Derrick Thomas on the Nittany Lions’ six yard line. It was a throw that looked to have been one that could have been caught but was tipped and Thomas snatch possesion right back to Nittany Lions with six seconds left in the first half. The Nittany Lions were still in a giving mood, turning the ball over on their first two possessions of the second half. The first turnover was on a fumble on the first play of the half by Even Royster which was recovered by Kent State on the Penn State 43 yard line. The second turnover was another interception thrown by Bolden on a quick slant which cornerback Norman Wolfe Jr. read perfectly and jumped making his second pick of the day. The defense was there for the rescue for Penn State all game and kept them in the lead.
When the offense fell down, the defense was there to pick them up. A defense that was manhandled by the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide last week, the Nittany Lions’ defense stayed strong and held the Golden Flashes to a mere 228 total yards. Penn State held their opponent to 170 yards through the air and 58 yards on the ground on 25 attempts which was an average of 2.5 yards a carry. Keith who completed 20-36 in the game and had an average of 4.5 yards a pass and was picked off twice in the game.
After the second interception by Bolden, he was finally able to set in when he and the offense relied on their running game. This was able to open things up; Bolden was able to stretch out the Golden Flashes’ defense hitting Devon Smith on a 48-yard touchdown pass.
Penn State was able to regroup this week and get the well needed win, to boost up their confidence heading into next week. One could argue that there are some questions concerning the tail-backs. While eclipsing 3,000 yards for his career today, Royster finished with only 38 yards for the game. This was his third straight game with less than 50 yards. It was the back-up, Green who calmed down a struggling offense with his legs gaining 59 yards on 11 carries. So the question could be who is the featured guy? Many would still assume Royster, but what happens if he doesn’t improve and Green does?
The Penn State Nittany Lions will be back in action next week Saturday, 3:30 home at University Park against the visiting Temple Owls (3-0) who defeated UConn this week 30-16.
About the Author
Written by Dane Hodge
I am a recent graduate of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. I majored in Communications with my emphasis in Radio/Television and Film. I have recently been writing for the Brookdale Community College Men's and Women's soccer teams in Lincroft, New Jersey on the athletic page of the school website. My love for sports is beyond this world. My real love is Television. I am a volunteer for Brookdale television as a broadcaster. One day I hope to become a great sports broadcaster, as of right now I believe that my volunteer work and my will to succeed will guide me to the path that I want. When I was younger I wrote for the Asbury Park Press in 2000, 2001. I have been writing for a while now and it is something in which I enjoy.