Penn State weathered heavy rains, and a the first shaky outing of Christian Hackenberg’s young career, and methodically picked apart the visiting Kent State Flashes for a 34-0 win in the final non-conference tune up of the season. Here are our players of the game from Saturday’s victory.
Offense: Bill Belton, 13 carries, 90 yards, 1 reception, 15 yards, 1 touchdown
The game was never in doubt, but it felt like the Lions’ offense had started to feel a bit stagnant in the late first quarter and into the second. Bill Belton was the one that kept things moving, and continued to show flashes of the potential that had Bill O’Brien raving about him going into the 2012 season, prior to his ankle injury. He showed that cutting ability and ability to make a play on more than one occasion. It felt great to see him rewarded with the Lions’ first score of the day.
I believe pretty strongly that if this offense can find a way to get the ball into Belton’s hands in spots he can make a play, it will go a long way to the success of the team. Zach Zwinak (who scored 3 times today) is the straight ahead power back, Akeel Lynch is certainly the future at the position, showing a great combination of size and speed, but Belton has that rare ability to make players miss and turn something into nothing. Forgive the overused cliche, but Bill Belton could be a huge x-factor for the PSU offense.
Honorable Mention: Zach Zwinak, Akeel Lynch,
Defense: Ryan Keiser, 4 tackles, 1 sack, 3 breakups, 1 interception
This one could have gone to any number of guys on the defensive side of the ball. A week after giving up 34 points and over 500 yards to Central Florida, John Butler’s defense played inspired, and the closest they came to surrendering a point came on a missed field goal after inheriting a short field. Ryan Keiser’s 4 tackle, 1 sack, 1 interception (and near 2 INT) performance did stand out though. After Blake Bortles picked apart the the secondary a week ago, Keiser lead an effort that surrendered only 134 yards through the air, and just 190 total. Sure, the Flashes were without Dri Archer, but holding any FBS team to that kind of yardage, and 0 points deserves some notice.
Honorable Mention: Deion Barnes, Glenn Carson, Jordan Lucas
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