New Hampshire DB Jake Kiley Commits to Penn State
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States like New Hampshire are often overlooked by college recruiters scouring the northeast. With a population of a little over 1.3 million (barely 14.5% of the population of New York City), the talent pool in …

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Penn State picks up uninspiring win against Syracuse

Submitted by on September 13, 20092 Comments
Nate Stupar's interception placed the PSU offense on the doorstep of a touchdown.
Nate Stupar's interception placed the PSU offense on the doorstep of a touchdown.
If you were looking for Penn State (2-0) to get their running game going against Syracuse (0-2), you probably are still looking. Despite what came off as an emotionless effort from Penn State, the Nittany Lions beat Syracuse by a score of 28-7, sweeping the two game home-and-home series. For Penn State it was another game in which the offense energized by the passing game.

Penn State opened the game the way you might expect, by driving down the field to score a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Daryll Clark connected with running back Evan Royster, who had lined up at wide receiver on the right side of the offense. After escaping from a jam of Syracuse defenders Royster sprinted for the end-zone, scoring on a 49 yard pass to put Penn State up early. It appeared at that time that Penn State’s offense was set for a field day against Syracuse, much like last season’s meeting in the Carrier Dome. Clark did a good job of spreading the ball around to different receivers on the opening drive while the running game had trouble getting started again.

On Penn State’s second drive of the game the Nittany Lions would find themselves backed up near their own end zone, but Clark was masterful in orchestrating a 95 yard drive that fall short of the end zone. The Syracuse defense came up with a pair of big plays to keep Penn State’s running game out of the end zone as the first quarter came to a close. Sitting just inches away from the end zone the Nittany Lions decided to go for the touchdown on fourth and goal, but Clark fumbled the snap and the Orange recovered.

Syracuse failed to move out of the shadows of the Penn State student section and after forcing Penn State to punt the Orange took control at their own two yard line. Syracuse was once again unable to work out of their own end zone and punted the ball back to Penn State. Royster capped off the ensuing drive with a 12-yard run to put Penn State up 14-0. That is how things would look at the half.

The lone score of the third quarter came when Clark fired a pass 20 yards to the end zone to wide receiver Graham Zug. Clark’s second touchdown pass of the day put Penn State up 21-0. Touchdown pass number three would come in the fourth quarter. Set up by a Nate Stupar interception of Syracuse quarterback Greg Paulus on Syracuse’s first play of the drive, Penn State started a short drive at the Syracuse two yard line. After a pair of rushes by Stephfon Green failed to result in a touchdown, Clark rolled right and tossed the ball to tight end Mickey Shuler to put Penn State up 28-0 after the extra point.

Syracuse put their lone touchdown on the scoreboard after recovering a fumble by freshman Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome. Paulus completed a 16 yard touchdown pass to Donte Davis on the first offensive play, and that would be the final score of the game, 28-7.

The Penn State defense handled Syracuse’s offense and bailed out the struggling offense all day long. Syracuse only managed to total 200 yards of offense. Penn State’s offense recorded 319 yards for the game, 240 of which came through the air. Sean Lee had a good outing once again, but his fellow linebackers Josh Hull and Stupar had two of the biggest plays by the defense. Both Hull and Stupar intercepted Syracuse passes, although Lee picked up a number of important tackles for a loss.

Linebacker Navorro Bowman did not play in the game. He left last week’s game against Akron early to nurse a groin injury.

Daryll Clark had a fine game passing the ball once again
Daryll Clark had a fine game passing the ball once again

Daryll Clark once again was the best player on the field for the Penn State offense. Clark went 20-for-31 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Each touchdown pass went to a different receiver. He was intercepted once on a deep pass that saw an offensive pass interference called, which was a blown call by the Big East officiating crew.

If the Penn State running game does not get on track though, the success of the passing game could drop off against tougher competition.


Penn State is 2-0 but it is clear that the offensive line needs to improve. Clark saved the day with some good passing and the defense, as usual, will be a strong asset for Penn State. But if Penn State is going to be a legitimate contender for not only the Big Ten title but a run at the BCS Championship, then the offensive line, and subsequently the running game, must improve.

Last week Derek Moye showed that he may be Clark’s main go-to guy. This week it was Zug. Maybe, just maybe, the Penn State wide receivers are as diverse as the previous group.


Penn State will be home once again next week for a game against Temple (0-1), who was idle this week. The Owls are coming off a program crushing type loss to city rival, and FCS opponent, Villanova.

Penn State beat Temple last season, 45-3.

Syracuse will return home for their third straight game against a Big Ten team. Northwestern will visit Syracuse in the back end of another home-and-home series.

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  • Steven Callohan

    We really need to get our running back back on track and QUICK. If we can't run over Temple this week, we are headed for trouble in the Big Ten

  • Steven Callohan

    We really need to get our running back back on track and QUICK. If we can't run over Temple this week, we are headed for trouble in the Big Ten