FINAL: PENN STATE 13, RUTGERS 10
A late five-yard TD run from Bill Belton lifted Penn State to a 13-10 victory over Rutgers Saturday at High Point Solution Stadium.
FOS will have more from the victory in New Jersey later Saturday.
Penn State is driving to start the third quarter. But Rutgers leads, 10-3.
Place kicker Sam Ficken connected on a 32-yard field goal with 3:45 left in the third quarter to draw the Lions within a score. Penn State's offense has found its footing some in the second half.
The Lions marched 72 yards on 13 plays to setup that Ficken try, and will open the fourth quarter on the Rutgers 16 after a long catch and run from DaeSean Hamilton moved Penn State into Scarlet Knights' territory. The 47-yard completion came near the end of the third quarter, and has set Penn State up to potentially tie the game with 15 minutes to play.
PSU quarterback Christian Hackenberg is now 19 of 35 for 214 yards entering the final stanza. Bill Belton now leads the Lions with 25 yards on 10 carries.
Rutgers first game in the Big Ten couldn't have started much better.
Penn State's first game in the Big Ten under James Franklin couldn't have been much worse.
Rutgers leads Penn State 10-0 at halftime at High Point Solutions Stadium. Scarlet Knights' quarterback Gary Nova raced in from 14 yards out, and Kyle Federico nailed a 32-yard field goal, to reach the halftime margin.
Rutgers will receive to begin the second half.
Penn State's defense did what it could over the first 30 minutes of play, yet a oft-stalled offense did nothing to help it. The Lions' defense twice intercepted Nova, leading to no PSU points, as the Knights outgained the Lions 199-104 in the first half.
PSU quarteback Christian Hackenberg has failed to find time to throw, leading the Lions' offense to find little rhythm. The Penn State quarterback is 9 of 17 for just 79 yards, and he's also Penn State's leading rusher with six carries for 10 yards. John Donovan's rushing attack has mounted just 25 yards through 30 minutes, and receiver DaeSean Hamilton follows Hackenberg in that department with one carry for nine yards. Penn State's running backs have carried eight times for a total of six yards. Zach Zwinack has yet to record a carry.
Both of Rutgers' scores came in the second quarter, as Penn State's defense struggled to keep pace with the Scarlet Knights' attack. A late second-quarter drive hold, though, kept the hosts to just a field-goal.
Rutgers is new to the Big Ten by definition.
Not by action, though.
The Scarlet Knights were intercepted twice by Penn State, but the Lions had a kicked block in the first 15 minutes of play. The Big Ten opener for both sides is scoreless after 15 minutes of play.
Both sides have struggled offensively; PSU is outgaining Rutgers 66-64, but neither had neared the endzone. The only scoring attempt of the quarter, Sam Ficken's 34-yard field goal, was blocked in the dying minutes of the opening stanza.
It means Rutgers is driving to start the second quarter, facing a 3rd and 1 from its own 46. Penn State has failed to find offensive rhythm thus far, but it's defense has been superb. Trevor Williams and Adrian Amons both grabbed interceptions in the opening frame.
This post will be updated at halftime.