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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Despite Inconsistency By Christian Hackenberg, Nittany Lions Still Make Light Work of Zips

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
   

     Christian Hackenberg tied Matt McGloin's school record for most career 300+ yard passing games (6) as Penn State went on to beat Akron 21-3 in the Nittany Lions home opener. Akron had a promising drive to open up the game, but the drive stalled and a missed field goal was all for not for the Zips.
 
     Penn State went up 7-0 late in the first quarter, capping off a 58 yard scoring drive that ended with Hackenberg finding Bill Belton for 22 yards on a swing pass. The Nittany Lions were threatening to go up by two scores in the second quarter, but a Christian Hackenberg interception would cost the Nittany Lions a chance to capitalize once more in the red zone.

    Akron got on the board after another Penn State turnover, this time a fumble. with a field goal to trim the Nittany Lions lead to four. But the Nittany Lions would quickly respond. After a key play converting on 3rd & 25 with a pass completed to Geno Lewis, Hackenberg hooked up with Jesse James for a 13 yard touchdown putting the Nittany Lions up 14-3.

     Early in the 4th quarter Penn State was driving again looking to expand its lead, but another Christian Hackenberg interception prevented the Nittany Lions from adding onto their lead. The Penn State defense, which had been up to the challenge all day, forced a three and out. It took Penn State just two plays to score, as Hackenberg redeemed himself by finding Jesse James for the second time, connecting on a 44 yard touchdown play for a 21-3 Nittany Lions lead.

     The Nittany Lions defense held the Zips again late, forcing another turnover on downs in the red zone. Penn State improves to 2-0 and heads to Rutgers next week for an early Big Ten showdown with the Scarlet Knights.



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