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Penn State routs Indiana State

Written by: on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

By BILL ALBRIGHT
WesternPAFootball.net

UNIVERSITY PARK — Any way you look at it, it was complete domination by the Penn State football team Saturday afternoon in the season opener against Indiana State University.

When the issue was finally decided in sun-drenched Beaver Stadium, the romp was put in the books at Penn State 41, Indiana State 7.

“I thought we played a good, solid game,” said PSU head coach Joe Paterno. “Obviously, there are a lot of places we can improve. I think we wasted some opportunities and I didn’t think we caught the ball well enough. I thought the quarterbacks, a couple of times, rushed a couple throws. But overall, I thought it was a good effort. Obviously, Indiana (State) is not a great team, but they’re a bunch of kids that scrap and I think they’ve done a good job coaching. They stayed with it. Overall, I thought it was a good day for us.”

It took 60 minutes to play the complete football game, but it only the Nittany Lions 13 seconds to set the tempo.

Taking the opening kickoff on his own 5-yard line, Chaz Powell got the 125th season of PSU football underway in dazzling fashion as he returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for the game’s first score.

For Powell, the return for a TD was the second of his career. His first came in the season opener last year against YSU when he took one back 100 yards.

“We have been working real hard during the off-season on our returns, and today, it was just a lot of good blocking,” said Powell. “It is a great way to start off the season and it feels real good.”

Following Powell’s special team score, Silas Redd found the end zone twice, while Michael Zordich, Joe Suhey and Shane McGregor each scored a six-pointer.

Biggest Hit: This play goes to Michael Zordich who met ISU kick returner Leonard Riston face-to-face on the ISU 31-yard line with a hit that nearly knocked Riston out of Centre County.

Best Picks: Drew Astorino picked off a Ronnie Fouch pass and returned the theft 33 yards deep into ISU territory. For the former General McLane standout, the interception was the fifth of his career as a Nittany Lion. Later in the game, Adrian Amos got into the theft act as he pilfered a Fouch pass and returned it 46 yards.

“I think we played good and did what we needed to do,” said Astorino. “We always have things we need to improve on, but overall, I thought we did a good job today. One of our goals coming into the season was that we need to cause more turnovers and we did that today. But you have forget about today and keep doing it because we have a real big game (Alabama) coming up next week.”

Silas Was (Redd)y: Taking advantage of the departure of Evan Royster all-time PSU rushing leader, Redd stepped in and had a big game to open the season. For the game, Redd finished with 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns on a dozen carries. “I think everybody was excited today to get out there and get the first hit, the first block,” said Redd. “I give all the credit to the offensive line because they are the ones who opened the holes and made it possible. They (offensive linemen) did a great job and what more can you ask for.”

Splitting the Duties: Rob Bolden started at quarterback for the Lions and ran the controls until the Lions went up 21-0. During his time under center, Boldin completed six of 12 passes for 37 yards. That is when Paterno and his coaches decided to insert Matt McGloin to give the red shirt junior an opportunity to show his wares. McGloin was 6-for-8 for 77 yards. Neither Boldin nor McGloin threw a touchdown pass.

“I think both of them can play and I think both of them are going to play,“ Paterno said. “They’ve been under an awful lot of pressure because of the media and everybody else wants to know who’s going to play quarterback. I think that they’re fine. They’ll get better. I think, overall, they did a pretty good job. (Rob) Bolden threw those two really nice passes that should have been caught. We’ve got those long ones. Outside of (Matt) McGloin throwing that one away, I thought overall they did a good job.”

Kicking Problems: It is no secret that the kicking game for the Lions needs a quick overhaul so that it isn’t going to cost the Lions points as well as field position. A pair of missed field goals and a “botched” extra point try stuck out like a sore thumb during the win.

“I thought the place-kicking game wasn’t good,“ noted Paterno. “I mean, overall it wasn’t good. If you miss a couple field goals, it makes you wonder a little bit. The other kid, it’s been very close between both of them, (Sam) Ficken and (Evan) Lewis. I told Mike (McQueary), after Lewis missed a couple, I said, “Let’s see what Ficken can do,” and he was in there. I don’t know whether we’ll have (Anthony) Fera this week, but we’re going to have him either this week or next week.”

Close to Home: Although Derek Day is listed as being from Central Dauphin High School, his family roots are located in Lycoming County. Derek’s father, Dwayne (Dewey) Day is a former standout athlete at South Williamsport High School and Lycoming College, while his mother is the former Lori Lorson, a graduate of Jersey Shore Area High School. In Saturday’s win over ISU, Day carried the ball three times for nine yards. Also making appearances for the ‘Nits from the area were Jamie Van Fleet (Loyalsock) and Jacob Fagnano (Williamsport). Both Van Fleet and Fagnano not only saw action on special teams, but both were fortunate to get in on the game action for some reps when the Sycamores had the ball.

Finally: According to the information in the Penn State media guide, Shane McGregor (Ebensburg, Central Cambria) had never seen actual game action for the Nittany Lions coming into Saturday‘s game with Indiana State. Having the opportunity Saturday to change that status in the win over ISU, McGregor found himself under center and bulled his way into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown to make the score PSU 41, ISU 0. Although not having any game action until Saturday, McGregor has been a vital part of the Nittany Lion program as quarterback of the “foreign” team in practice, helping prepare the Lions for upcoming opponents.

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