In the final non-conference game of the 2009 season, Penn State used a monstrous second quarter to defeat the Eastern Illinois Panthers in front of 104,000+ at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. The win moves Penn State to 5-1 on the season heading into next week’s homecoming game against the Golden Gophers.
Penn State scored on five of their six possessions in the first half, with the exception of a Daryll Clark interception in the second quarter. Clark opened up scoring with a quarterback sneak for the first touchdown and a stalled drive led to a 25-yard Colin Wagner field goal in the first quarter.
After a missed field goal attempt from EIU to open up the second quarter, Penn State marched down the field and scored on a Clark to Brett Brackett 2-yard connection, then again on a 51-yard hook-up to Chaz Powell. On their next possession, the Lions made the score 31-0 after a blocked punt led to a 25-yard pass from Clark to Derek Moye. After the two team traded interceptions, and EIU was poised to score the first touchdown by an opponent in the first half all season, quarterback Jake Christensen was sacked by Ollie Ogbu and fumbled the football right into the arms of Navarro Bowman, who returned it 91 yards for another score. The play, the longest fumble return in Penn State history, made the score 38-0 heading to the locker room.
The second half featured many back-ups getting playing time, including Kevin Newsome, who scored a touchdown on a nine-yard keeper in the fourth quarter that culminated scoring at 52-3, Penn State.
- Lancaster Newspapers – Mike Gross
- Harrisburg Patriot-News – Bob Flounders
- The Daily Collegian – Game Recap
- GoPSUSports.com – Game Recap
POSTGAME NOTES FROM THE SID
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
All unites looked good on Saturday, but as we mentioned in the preview last Thursday, we’re not getting excited. A non-conference game against a FCS school is nothing that Penn State should draw any sort of conclusions from. While it was good to get the backups in and see some action, more pressing issues are still at hand; like how the team will perform over the next six weeks.
The cake part of the schedule is over, and half of the next six are away from State College. While Iowa is still unbeaten, things are all in front of the Nittany Lions. Win out and you have a very nice trip planned for the last week of 2009 and the first few days of 2010.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- Akron: L, 7-19 vs. Ohio
- Syracuse: L, 13-34 vs. Syracuse
- Temple: W, 24-19 vs. Ball State
- Iowa: W, 30-28 vs. Michigan
- Illinois: L, 14-24 vs. Michigan State
- Eastern Illinois: L, 3-52 @ Penn State
- Minnesota: W, 35-20 vs. Purdue
- Michigan: L, 28-30 @ Iowa
- Northwestern: W, 16-6 vs. Miami (Oh.)
- Ohio State: W, 31-13 vs. Wisconsin
- Indiana: L, 4-47 @ Virginia
- Michigan State: W, 24-14 @ Illinois
- Combined opponent’s record: 6-6 for the week, 40-29 for the year (.580)
AROUND THE BIG TEN
- MINNESOTA 35, PURDUE 20: Despite trailing by ten points early and being out gained by 225 yards through the air, Minnesota rebounded by using special teams and a solid ground attack to down the Boilermakers in the first homecoming game played on campus in Minnesota in more than 20 years. Minnesota scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, including a return of a blocked field goal to end any chances of Purdue’s first conference victory of the season.
- MICHIGAN STATE 24, ILLINOIS 14: The freefall in Champaign continues as the Illini dropped yet another game in humiliating fashion. The Spartans led 24-0 before Illinois scored and held Illinois to just 272 total yards of offense and 13 first downs. The win is Sparty’s second in a row after a three game losing streak.
- #9 OHIO STATE 31, WISCONSIN 13: Ohio State needed the help of three returns for touchdown to beat the undefeated Badgers in Columbus. Two interceptions and a kickoff were returned for touchdowns for Ohio State, in a game that statistically was not even close. The Badgers out gained Ohio State by a 368 to 184 margin, and limited the Buckeyes to 87 yards passing and 97 yards rushing. Turnovers did Wisconsin in however, as both interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
- IOWA 30, MICHIGAN 28: A sloppy game that featured six turnovers, including both of the first passes thrown by each starting quarterback, Iowa manages to remain unbeaten by beating a Wolverines team that couldn’t keep the ball off the turf at Kinnick Stadium. Michigan did have a chance late in the fourth quarter to win the game but Denard Robinson overthrew his intended receiver for Michigan’s fifth turnover of the game.
AROUND THE NATION
- #1 FLORIDA 13, #4 LSU 3: In Tim Tebow’s return from a concussion, one touchdown pass was enough to win a rare defensive battle on the road in Baton Rouge. Tebow’s connection with Riley Cooper for the score in the second quarter was good enough for a Gator victory.
- #3 ALABAMA 22, #20 MISSISSIPPI 3: The Crimson Tide dominated Ole Miss the entire way to stay undefeated and at the front of the pack in the SEC West. Alabama now plays their next three at home, including a game against LSU on November 7th that should decide the division.
- #21 NEBRASKA 27, #24 MISSOURI 12: In a torrential downpour Thursday night in Missouri, the Cornhuskers overcame a 12-point deficit and scored all 27 points in the final quarter to take control of the Big XII North and it’s automatic berth in the conference’s championship game in December.
THE NEW ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP TEN
- 1. FLORIDA (50)
- 2. ALABAMA (10)
- 3. TEXAS
- 4. VIRGINIA TECH
- 5. BOISE STATE
- 6. USC
- 7. OHIO STATE
- 8. CINCINNATI
- 9. MIAMI (FL.)
- 10. LSU
- 11. IOWA
- 14. PENN STATE
THE BCS TOP TEN
Not released until next week.
Next week, Penn State will square off against Minnesota for their homecoming tilt in Beaver Stadium. We will be back on Thursday with a preview of the game.