Blue-White highlights, lowlights
UNIVERSITY PARK – Following are the highlights and lowlights from the Blue’s 37-0 victory over the White Saturday at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: Chip Chiappialle spun out of a tackle near the line of scrimmage and broke loose for a 23-yard touchdown bolt in the second quarter.
Offensive player of the game: Chiappialle rushed for 63 yards on nine carries, scoring two touchdowns.
Defensive player of the game: Although Anthony Zettel was a force early and Ryan Keiser forced a fumble and intercepted a pass, C.J. Olaniyan had the best game from start to finish, coming up with a game-high five tackles, with three for losses and 2.5 sacks.
Most telling statistic: The teams combined for 316 yards. The White averaged 1.3 yards per snap and were held to minus-25 on the ground.
Most deceiving statistic: It’s hard to know whether the nine sacks were more a reflection of good defensive line play or the depleted offensive line.
Hidden statistic: There was only one noticeable injury – center Wendy Laurent went down on Chiappialle’s second TD run.
Best pass: Although it ended up an incompletion, true freshmen Michael O’Connor effortlessly flung a 40-yard pass that just missed being a long touchdown pass to Matt Zanellato.
Worst pass: D.J. Crook’s overthrow in the second quarter was easily intercepted by Blue safety Keiser.
Best catch: It only went for a gain of 3, but the White’s Jonathan Warner made a nice play to hang on to Crook’s pass on the sideline with Jordan Smith all over him.
Catch it, will ya: There were no glaringly bad drops, although Da’Quan Davis nearly had a pick six when he jumped a wide receiver screen in the first half, but DaeSean Hamilton broke it up.
Hold it, won’t ya: Brandon Johnson had taken a screen pass about 15 yards, getting near the first down marker and inside Blue territory when he fumbled and Jesse Della Valle came up with the ball.
Best block: A sweep to Donovan Smith’s side in the first quarter allowed Chiappialle to run for a fairly easy 9 yards.
Best tackle: Davis denied Chiappialle a touchdown on a third-and-goal at the 3, and Olaniyan and Austin Johnson stuffed State College walk-on Jake Haffner on a fourth-and-1 at the Blue 35.
Best hit: Adrian Amos delivered a shot to tight end Brent Wilkerson’s kidney to break up a first quarter pass.
Worst tackle: Nothing stood out.
Best kick: Chris Gulla boomed a 50-yarder on his second punt, but his 49-yarder near the end of the first half might have been even better.
Worst kick: Moments after winning the inaugural Coaches Special Teams Award at halftime, Sam Ficken missed an extra point.
Best call: Geno Lewis connected with Zanellato on a 56-yard reverse pass in the third quarter that kept the remaining crowd entertained after the offenses were largely punchless in the first half.
Worst call: Letting Zettel wear what appeared to be his junior high jersey.
Best decision: Using a running clock for the second half.
Worst decision: It was minor, but dividing the teams so unevenly.
Worst penalty: A late hit out of bounds on the White gave the Blue a first-and-goal in the second quarter, leading to the first touchdown.
Best effort: Haffner lowered his head and banged through a tackle for a couple of extra yards on a 7-yard run for the White in the first quarter.
Unsung hero(es): Because of injuries, the same offensive linemen played both ways much of the game.