KSU: The High Five

It was wet, wild at times game for the Nittany Lions who managed their first shutout victory since 2010, which happened to also be against Kent State. See the highs and lows from the win here.

Penn State had some highs and lows in what was a wet, sloppy contest at times in Beaver Stadium. At the end of the day, the Nittany Lions walked away with a 34-0 victory over Kent State, but hit a series of speed bumps along the way.

Let's review the game highs first.


Tailback Trio: PSU got a lot of production from the ground game which produced 17 of 27 first downs, 287 yards on 53 attempts (5.4 YPC) and three touchdowns en route to the squad's 34-0 victory. Akeel Lynch led the charge with 123 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. Bill Belton rolled up another 93 yards, averaging 6.9 YPC and Zach Zwinak capped off three scoring drives and totaled 66 yards.

Man in the Middle: Linebacker Glen Carson stepped up into a starring role for the Penn State defense, plugging holes and generally wreaking havoc for the front seven. Carson led the squad with seven tackles (two solos) and had two tackles for loss on the day.

Big Boot: Placekicker Sam Ficken had another big outing for PSU, hitting four for four extra points and two for two on field goals. Outside of a missed 57-yard attempt last week, Ficken has been incredibly dependable for the Penn State staff. He also nailed a 54-yard kick, particularly impressive in the conditions.

Flyin' Ryan: Ryan Keiser had a banner day for the Blue and White, making a myriad of key plays for the defense. For the game he pulled down four tackles (three solo), had one tackle for loss, one sack, three pass breakups and an interception.

Line Dancing: Despite some passing issues (more on that later), the offensive line blocked for 463 yards, 287 of which was on the ground and and 176 through the air. They also helped Penn State continue the nation's longest streak of continuous games scoring 23+ points at 14.


Shutout Shoutout: A tip of the hat to the defense for pitching their first shutout in three years. These guys had a great outing and deserve credit.


No Charm: Third down has not been a charm for PSU this season. Although the offense saw a slight uptick in production from their woeful 12 percent conversion rate, they still only converted seven of 18 attempts (39 percent). The offense has to find an way to boost third down drive extensions.

Flight Grounded: Granted, the Lions were dealing with some sloppy conditions, but the passing had a rough game, going 13 for 36, one touchdown, one interception and two sacks. The good news is that the air attack has been shown to be effective in previous contests and Christian Hackenberg still spread the ball around to seven different receivers. There's little doubt Hackenberg won;t get better from this down game.

Weak Coverage: Kick coverage has been a weak point of the squad through the early portion of the season. KSU averaged 20.6 yards on kickoff returns to 15.0 yards for PSU. This is an area that could really bite the Lions in the tail down the road in the battle for field position.

End Game: With the weapons the Lions have at tight end, the ball was not delivered to them enough. Granted, Jesse James, Kyle Carter and Adam Breneman combined for 76 yards, but only had five receptions between them. these guys are critical to keeping drives alive and creating mismatches.

Lockdown: Hackenberg was locked on Allen Robinson early and often in this game. Sure, he managed to hit six other receivers, but seemed way too reliant on the go-two target, but only managed to connect for three passes for 43 yards.


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