PSU-Kent St. highlights, lowlights
UNIVERSITY PARK – Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 34-0 win over Kent State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: The decision, with 10 minutes left in the first half, to return “Sweet Caroline,” to the Beaver Stadium play list.
Offensive player of the game: Backup tailback Bill Belton rushed for 90 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 15-yard reception to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
Defensive player of the game: Lion safety Ryan Keiser made four tackles, including a sack, to go with an interception and three passes defended.
Most telling statistic: Kent State was limited to two rushing first downs.
Hidden statistic: Penn State averaged just 4.9 yards per passing attempt after entering the game averaging 9.4 per attempt.
Best run: Belton danced outside nicely in the second quarter en route to a 28-yard gain that set up the Lions’ second score and 14-0 lead.
Best pass: Christian Hackenberg hit tight end Kyle Carter in stride on a 29-yard slant in the first quarter.
Worst pass: It was actually a completion, but Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon almost got Ernest Calhoun killed with a high screen pass that was caught in traffic and quickly stuffed.
Best catch: Allen Robinson went up to snag an 18-yarder from Hackenberg in the first quarter.
Catch it, will ya: Belton and Robinson both dropped first-half passes.
Hold it, won’t ya: The rainy day produced four fumbles. On the PSU side, Hackenberg had a ball slip out of his hands in the first quarter, and Akeel Lynch fumbled in the fourth quarter (but it was alertly pounced on by Angelo Mangiro).
Best tackle: Keiser chased down Reardon in the second quarter.
Best block: Lion guard Miles Dieffenbach escorted Belton’s 11-yard run to the Kent State 1 in the third quarter, then hustled to recover a fumble in the end zone that was ruled down.
Best hit: Kent State linebacker Danny Gress nailed Zach Zwinak on the latter’s 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Best kick: Sam Ficken connected on a 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter – tied for the second longest in Penn State history behind Chris Bahr’s 55 (three times) – which set the final score.
Worst kick: Kent State’s Anthony Melchiori had a chance to open the scoring but pushed a 31-yard field goal wide right.
Best call: On third-and-goal from the Kent 15, Hackenberg found Belton on the left edge, and Belton dove the remaining 3 yards to give the Lions a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Worst call: Penn State flooded four receivers to the right and then ran Hackenberg to the left. It fooled no one and lost a yard before the entire play was wiped out by a chop block called against Garry Gilliam.
Best effort: Credit the fans who braved the lousy weather.
Unsung hero: Lynch came off the bench in the second half to rush for a game-high 123 yards on 14 carries, including a 43-yarder in the third quarter.