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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Penn State vs Kent State Game Review

     Placekicker Sam Ficken went 2 for 2 on the day on Field Goals, including a 54 yarder!

     What better way for the Penn State defense to respond to last week's performance by pitching a shutout! The Nittany Lions held the Kent State Golden Flashes to just 54 yards on the ground after giving up 219 the previous week to Central Florida. Penn State Safety Ryan Keiser paved the way for the defense with a sack and an interception. Deion Barnes recorded his first (half) sack of the season, as the Nittany Lions limited the Golden Flashes to just 190 yards of total offense.

     Despite a slow start, Penn State's offense was able to move the ball and finally scored on a Christian Hackenberg 15 yard touchdown(TD) pass to Bill Belton to give the Nittany Lions a 7-0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Most of Penn State's offense came from the running game with their 1-2-3 punch of Lynch-Belton-Zwinak, who recorded 123, 90, and 65 rushing yards respectively (278 yards total) and Zach Zwinak had his second consecutive game with 3 Rushing TD's. Zwinak's 3rd TD of the game gave Penn State a 31-0 lead with 6:42 left remaining in the game. Perhaps the most eye raising moment of the game came when Sam Ficken(who had made a 25 yard Field Goal earlier) nailed a 54 yarder with plenty room to spare, and in the process gave the Nittany Lions a 34-0 lead, and go on to win by that score. Ficken's field goal is the 4th longest in school history, and the longest since 1979.

     Penn State will have a Bye Week next weekend before heading to Indiana to open up its Big Ten Conference play. Kent State enters MAC play next week when they head to Western Michigan to take on the Broncos

Notes: -Penn State had nearly three times the amount of first downs as Kent State (26-9)

           -Penn State averaged 5.4 yards per carry

           Receiver Allen Robinson was held to under 100 receiving yards (43) for the first time this season.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Penn State vs Central Florida Game Review

     Penn State has always been known for its tough defense and good defensive run blocking. On Saturday though the Nittany Lions uncharacteristically displayed a poor defensive performance with missed tackling that gave up huge plays for the Knights of Central Florida. Penn State's defense gave up over 500 yards of total offense (507 total- 288 passing 219 rushing), thanks in large part of UCF Running Back Storm Johnson who contributed to the offensive production with 116 yards on 16 carries and a rushing Touchdown (TD). Storm also had a 4 yard reception for a TD as he scored the first two touchdowns for the Knights and gave them a 14-7 lead from his contributions. The Knights would expand their lead to 11 at the half with a 21-10 lead. UCF scored on their first possession of the second half increasing their lead to 18.  The lack of depth on Penn State's defense began to show signs of fatigue. Penn State Lineman, DaQuan Jones and Deion Barnes were contained as the Nittany Lion line failed to apply any pressure to the quarterback recording no sacks, and had trouble plugging up the holes in the Knights running game. However Penn State did not quit!

     Penn State Quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another solid performance finishing 21/28 with 262 passing yards and 1 TD Pass. Zach Zwinak  set a personal best with 3 rushing TD's. His second cut the lead back down to 11 and his third cut the Knights lead down to a TD. Zwinak though would end up turning the ball over after a fumble near the end of the game which cost Penn State a golden opportunity to score with ample time left. Penn State would go on to score later in the game to cut the lead to 34-31 after Wide Receiver Allen Robinson caught a late TD pass (Robinson finished the day with 9 Receptions for 143 yards to go along with his TD reception)

     Penn State managed to comeback after being down 18 at one point and cut the lead to a Field Goal. Central Florida though, would be able to hold off the feisty Nittany Lions and upset Penn State on the road at Beaver Stadium.

     Notes: Sam Ficken's Consecutive Field Goals made streak was snapped, but not before connecting on a 47 yarder that gave him 15 straight, as that now stands at the new school record.

     Penn State continued to struggle on 3rd down conversions, going only 2 for 8 and are now 4-34 through 3 games

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Penn State vs. Eastern Michigan Game Review

Penn State Fullback Zach Zwinak provided the Nittany Lions with some insurance with 2 Rushing TD's

     Last week against Syracuse, Penn State got off to a slow start before finding its stride and coming out on top with the win. Penn State got off to another rocky start versus Eastern Michigan Eagles this weekend when True Freshman Quarterback Christian Hackenberg fumbled the ball in the 1st quarter. Eagles Linebacker Hunter Matt returned the ball 11 yards for a touchdown(TD) to give Eastern Michigan a 7-0 lead over Penn State. That would be the Eagles only points of the day as Penn State would go on to score 45 unanswered points and improve their record to 2-0 on the season.

     Penn State quickly responded after the turnover with two consecutive scoring drives with a Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton rushing TD's, respectively, to give the Nittany Lions a 14-7 lead. Place Kicker Sam Ficken connected on a 39 yard field goal to extend Penn State's lead to 10 heading into the half.
     Penn State would start off the 2nd half with the ball, but its offense could not execute early on in the 3rd quarter and were forced to punt the ball away three times before scoring on their final drive of the quarter with another Rushing TD from Zach Zwinak, giving Penn State a 24-7 lead. From that point on, the flood gates began to open for the Nittany Lion offense!

     Christian Hackenberg would find his favorite target Allen Robinson(who finished the day with 7 receptions for 129 yards) for a 45 yard TD pass. (Hackenberg would finish the day with 311 yards through the air with 1 TD and 1 Interception) Just as Penn State's offense was finding its stride, the defense had already found its rhythm!

     The Nittany Lion defense allowed only 61 yards on the ground thanks to another strong performance by Defensive Tackle(DT) DaQuan Jones, who finished the game a sack. Defensive End C.J. Olaniyan also recorded a sack, while Glenn Carson and Austin Johnson each shared 0.5, to give Penn State three sacks in total. Penn State was dominating the run game on the defensive side, the Nittany Lions started to show some signs of life running the ball on their end as Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch scored on a run of 51 and 18 yards respectively on their final two possessions. Both Belton and Lynch rushed for 108 yards each, as Penn State rolled to an easy win over Eastern Michigan.

 -Sam Ficken's Field Goal gives him the school record for  most consecutive Field Goals made(14)

Christian Hackenberg had 311 passing yards vs Eastern Michigan, setting the Penn State record for passing yards in a game by a freshman. 


 - Penn State is now just 2-26 on 3rd down through two games, but 4-4 on 4th down


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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Penn State vs Syracuse Game Review

     The big question Penn State had heading into the 2013 Football season was "Who would be the starting Quarterback?" True Freshman Christian Hackenberg was given the nod over JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson(who did play one series before fumbling the football after just two plays). Despite very little offensive production, Penn State's offense move the ball and Place Kicker Sam Ficken connected on two Field Goals(FG) (35, 36 yds) to give Penn State a 6-3 lead heading into halftime.(Ficken would connect on a 46 yarder, longest of his career later in the second half and has now made 13 consecutive FG's dating back to last season.)

     Wide Receiver Allen Robinson, who did not play in the first half for reasons unknown, (according to Head Coach Bill O'Brien it was a matter between him and Allen) made a huge impact immediately! On the Nittany Lions first possession of the second half, it only took two plays for them to find the endzone thanks to (Allen) Robinson who caught two passes for a total of 76 yards in just a 34 second time span. (Robinson would finish the day with 7 catches for 133 receiving yards and a Touchdown(TD), all in the second half!) The touchdown gave the Nittany Lions a 13-3 lead. The lead would not last long, as Syracuse responded with a quick TD of its own, trimming Penn State's lead back down to three at 13-10.

     Ficken's third FG of the game extended Penn State's lead to 16-10. On the Nittany Lions first play of the 4th Quarter, Christian Hackenberg set up a "Play-Action Fake" and found Redshirt Freshman Wideout, Eugene Lewis for a 54 yard TD reception to give Penn State a seemingly commanding 23-10 lead. Hackenberg did have some critical mistakes to go with his positive outputs. Looking to run some clock out and possibly expand on their lead, Hackenberg threw an interception, which Syracuse returned all the way inside Penn State's 5. The Orange would capitalize on this turnover with just one play and cut Penn State's lead down quickly to 23-17.

     Penn State's Defense hung tough though. Defensive Tackle DaQuan Jones had a big game, registering 9 Tackles (including 1 Sack and 3 Tackles For Losses(TFL). The Nittany Lions secondary, which consisted of Jordan Lucas, Trevor Williams, Malcolm Willis, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong(whom also registered a sack) among others, came up with some nice defensive plays by getting a hand on the ball and breaking up passes. (Trevor) Williams sealed the game for Penn State with an interception with just two minutes remaining and the Nittany Lions would run out the clock and start its 2013 campaign with a win.


Unsung Hero-Garry Gilliam, made an open field tackle after an interception by Syracuse and in the process, saved giving up a TD. (Syracuse would end up with 0 points off the turnover as they missed a FG attempt on their possession following the turnover.)

Penn State was just 1 for 16 on 3rd down conversions

Penn State Linebacker Mike Hull, is listed day to day along with Tight End Kyle Carter. Tight End Matt Lehman is lost for the season after injuring his knee in the 2nd Quarter.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 NFL Predictions

     AFC East
New England    13-3
Miami Dolphins   9-7
Buffalo Bills         8-8
NY Jets              4-12

AFC North
Balitmore Ravens  11-5
Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6
Cincinnati Bengals   9-7
Cleveland Browns   6-10

AFC South
Houston Texans  11-5
Indianapolis Colts 9-7
Tennessee Titans 7-9
Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11

AFC West
Denver Broncos 13-3
Kansas City Chiefs 7-9
San Diego Chargers 7-9
Oakland Raiders 2-14

NFC East

NY Giants             10-6
Dallas Cowboys      8-8
Washington Redskins 8-8
Philadelphia Eagles 6-10

NFC North

Green Bay Packers 12-4
Minnesota Vikings 10-6
Detroit Lions            7-9
Chicago Bears 4-12

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons        11-5
New Orleans Saints 8-8
Carolina Panthers      8-8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-11

NFC West

San Fransisco 49ers 12-4
Seattle Seahawks      11-5
St. Louis Rams          5-11
Arizona Cardinals      4-12


                                                                          Wild Card
          Wild Card
                                   AFC                                                                              NFC
              Houston vs Pittsburgh                                                 Seattle vs NY Giants
              Baltimore vs Indianapolis                                         Atlanta vs Minnesota


           Baltimore vs Denver                                                            Green Bay vs Atlanta
           Pittsburgh vs New England                                                  Seattle  vs San Francisco

                                                                 Conference Championship             

New England  vs Denver                                                             Green Bay  vs  Seattle  

                                                                            Super Bowl  

                                                             Denver Broncos vs  Seattle Seahawks  

                                                                        Seattle Seahawks   
NFL MVP - Aaron Rodgers
NFL Passing Yards Leader- Drew Brees (4,931 yards)
NFL Touchdown Passes Leader- Aaron Rodgers (42)
NFL Rushing Yards Leader- Adrian Peterson (1,812 yards)
NFL Receiving Yards Leader- Calvin Johnson (1,747 yards)
Receiving Touchdowns- AJ Green (15)
Rushing Touchdowns- Doug Martin (18)
Sacks- Aldon Smith (19)
Interceptions- Richard Sherman (8)
Rookie of the Year- Dion Jordan
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