After leading Penn State to rousing come-from-behind victories in two of its first three games, quarterback Christian Hackenberg played more of a supporting role in the Nittany Lions' 48-7 beat-down of UMass Saturday.
Of course, a pedestrian day by Hackenberg is still pretty good. Even after a slow start, he completed 12 of 23 passes for 179 yards. PSU only had one passing touchdown, and it came from walk-on D.J. Crook long after Hackenberg had been relegated to the sideline in the third quarter.
All of which was fine by Hackenberg. After being sacked eight times through three games, including five in a win at Rutgers, the sophomore knew it was important for his offensive line to develop some confidence.
And it did just that vs. UMass. Penn State pounded out 228 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns against the Minutemen. RBs Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch both averaged better than 10 yards per carry.
We caught up with Hackenberg after the game to talk about the improvement of the running game, his own early struggles and much more. Check it out below.