Lions Zip Past AkronHackenberg managed to find James again for another touchdown for a 21-3 lead. And despite the Zips' gashing the PSU secondary late for a deep drive, the defense held, turning the Zips away once again. Penn State managed to hold on with one last long drive preserving the 21-3 victory.
PSU Holding Onto Lead
It wasn't a pretty third quarter, but for Penn State, it found a way to put another touchdown on the board.
Christian Hackenberg remains in a funk, but the PSU quarterback found Jesse James for a 13-yard score late in the stanza to increase Penn State's lead to 14-3. Akron got on the scoreboard Robert Stein 28-yard kick that sailed true.
The Lions will be driving to open the fourth quarter. Hackenberg is 20 of 33 for 252 yards and two scores. With a quarter to play, he can add to another record, this one the back-to-back games passing record. The sophomore broke Zach Mills record in the third quarter.
Penn State leads Akron 7-0 at the half, a Christian Hackenberg 22-yard touchdown pass to Bill Belton the difference.
It's the long bright spot for the Lions in a woeful first half offensively. Hackenberg was intercepted by Akron's Martel Durant at the 1-yard line early in the second quarter with the Lions looking primed to score. After that, PSU's offense went no where, as punter Chris Gulla became the star.
Fortunately for the Lions, a mix of timely stops and Akron drops have kept the visitors out of the endzone. Zips' quarterback Kyle Pohl is 11 of 20 for 108 yards.
Hackenberg is 12 of 24 with 156 yards, an interception, and a score. Halfback Bill Belton has four carries on 11 yards, and he's joined in that category by Akeel Lynch (1-10) and Zach Zwinak (3-2).
Receiving wise, DaeSean Hamilton continues his hot start. The redshirt freshman has four grabs for 48 yards. Geno Lewis and Belton each have three catches for 46 and 39 yards, respectively, which Chris Godwin has a grab for 12 yards and Mike Gesicki one for 11.
Penn State has a 179-159 total yards advantage, and also has 11 first downs to Akron's nine. The Zips' have won the time of possession battle this far, though, holding the ball for 18:47 compared to PSU's 11:13.
Penn State's defense struggled out of the gates, allowing Akron to march 66 yards before stopping the visitors three straight times in goal-to-go situations. Akron kicker Tom O'Leary then hooked a 31-yard field goal from the left hash.
After the first 15 minutes, Hackenberg is 7 of 10 for 91 yards and a score. Belton is leading all rushers with three carries for 11 yards, and also has a game-high three catches for 39 yards.