PREGAME:A steady rain began falling about two hours before kickoff and was expected to get worse as the game got closer. However, the field appeared to be in good shape.
The rain is still coming down at Beaver Stadium, and though it took Penn State nearly all of the first 15 minutes to score, the Lions have, taking a 7-0 lead into the second quarter.
Penn State looked shaky on its first two drives, twice failing to convert on third down. The third drive was the charm, however, as quarterback Christian Hackenberg, with plenty of help from running back Bill Belton, marched State 87 yards on nine plays, capped off by a Belton 15-yard touchdown reception on third down.
Kent State quarterback Colin Reardon is four-of-eight for 51 yards, and he has been the catalyst for nearly all of the Golden Flashes offense. The Lions are outgaining Kent State 120-54 after the opening stanza.
Hackenberg is seven-of-ten for 94 yards and a score, while Belton has rumbled three times for 18 yards. Running back Zach Zwinak also has three carries to his name, good for 17 yards, while receiver Allen Robinson has a trio of catches for 43 yards.
The first half hasn't been particularly kind to the Lions this fall, and that didn't change Saturday. Still, Penn State leads 14-0 at the halftime break at a soggy Beaver Stadium.
Penn State led 7-0 at the end of one, a lead it quickly swelled to 14 when Zach Zwinak's two-yard tumble ended a 10 play, 82-yard drive for the hosts that began in the first quarter. There was little to speak of positively for the Lions defense after that, as it gained a total of 19 yards on 12 plays over its next two drives.
The bright spot on this weary afternoon has rested with the defense, who has yet to surrender a point, and have forced four punts from Kent State. The two times the Golden Flashes didn't punt, they missed a 31-yard field goal run out, and let the clock run out on the first half.
Hackenberg finished the half 11-for-21 for 142 yards and a score, while counterpart Colin Reardon is 10-of-17 for 83 yards. The Lions ground attack has been paced by Belton's eight rushes for 57 yards. Defensively, Penn State has held the visitors to 101 yards, led by linebacker Glenn Carson's six tackles -- including 1.5 for loss -- and four tackles a piece from Trevor Williams and Deion Barnes.
Kent State will receive to open the second half.
There was plenty of passing from Penn State in the third quarter, but not plenty of success. Either way, Penn State still tacked on a score to take a 21-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Zwinak scored again, this time plowing through for a one-yard score after Belton sprinted to the one. The back was ruled in on the field, but after review, he was ruled down at the one-yard line.
Hackenberg had a pedestrian quarter as Penn State plodded along for a majority of the stanza. He finished just 1-of-11 for seven yards, struggling to find receivers with separation and often failing to hit them when they were.
Belton leads all rushers with 13 carries for 90 yards. Penn State's defense has surrendered just 151 yards.
Penn State improved to 3-1 here Saturday with a 34-0 victory over Kent State, a win not aesthetically pleasing but one that give the Lions momentum heading into their bye week nonetheless.
Penn State scored three times in the fourth quarter, sandwiching a Zwinak one-yard touchdown run with a pair of Sam Ficken field goals, including one that was good from 54-yards. It was a career high kick for the Lions kicker.
The shut-out of the Golden Flashes is the first one by a Penn State defense since 2010, when it stopped Kent State by a tally of 24-0. Defensive coordinator John Butler's defense allowed just 170 yards of total offense, including a mere 53 Golden Flashes rushing yards.