EMU: The High Five

Check out the highs and lows from Penn State's home opening victory over Eastern Michigan in Beaver Stadium. A game that saw brilliance from an array of spots around the squad.

Penn State had highs all around the squad in a game that ended up a 45-7 victory for the Nittany Lions. Check and the highs and lows from PSU's home opener in Beaver Stadium.


Hack Attack: Christian Hackenberg shattered the freshman single-game passing record for PSU with 311 yards. The previous mark was 280 yards, set twice by Zack Mills in 2001. Hackenberg had an impressive outing, spreading the ball around to 10 receivers. He made mistakes like the interception and sack-fumble, but, like in the Syracuse clash, maintained his poise and seemingly, and more importantly, learning from his errors.

Power Line: The offensive line had nothing short of a big day, plowing the way for 574 total yards, 323 of which were through the air. They also helped the offense pick up 25 first downs to EMU's 11. Granted, we weren't expecting huge things from the Eagle's defensive front, but PSU managed to own the trenches as they needed to do.

Running Wild: After bearing the brunt of criticism last week, the ground game did what they were expected to do, running for 251 yards led by two 100+ yard rushers in Bill Belton (108, 2 TDs), Akeel Lynch (108, 1 TD). Zwinak also gave an impressive look to the run game, with a 43-yard performance and two key scores.

Shut Down: PSU's defense clamped down on the Eagle offense allowing only 61 yards rushing and 122 yards passing. Led again by DaQuan Jones who had nine tackles (four unassisted), two TFLs and one sack. On the day the defense totaled six sacks.

Kick It: Sam Ficken picked up where he left off, hitting one for one on field goals (39 yards) and six for six on extra points. The turnaround has been nothing short of impressive given a career start that would have had many tossing in the towel.


Here's To You: Allen Robinson nearly matched his stellar Syracuse yardage total, catching for 129 yards on seven catches and one touchdown. He's an incredible weapon and one that has really helped build Hackenbergs confidence and comfort level.

Forth The Glory: Whereas the Lions were weak on third down (more on that in the lows), they managed to hot 100 percent on fourth down, going two for two to keep some key drives alive.


Stall Out: Penn State's third down efficiency woes continued as the Lions converted a mere one of 10 attempts on third down. This something that can be easily overcome by an EMU-type squad, but needs to get addressed as the season's hill gets steeper.

Flip It: It may sound greedy, but despite the shutdown style PSY's defense had against EMU, it was surprising they did not manage to force a turnover in this contest. I give EMU credit for holding onto the ball with the aggressive nature of the Nittany Lions D.

Cough Up: On the flip side, PSU had two turnovers - one fumble and one interception. With both were tied to Hackenberg, it has to be expected for him to make some mistakes. The key is learning from them and adjusting accordingly, which he seems to be doing.

Flag It: EMU deserves credit for limiting their penalties to two for only eight yards. Penn State, had five miscues for 46 yards. It's early, but some of these can be a drive killer in games down the road, so improving them is critical.


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