Penn State could not get anything going offensive early, but on its second possesion did have a couple of deep shots that just missed.
Kent State opened the scoring on its second series when it got a 26-yard Shane Hynes field goal following an 11-play, 64-yard drive.
Penn State countered by getting its passing game going, as Trace McSorely had two completions to Chris Godwin. McSorley then hit DaeSean Hamilton for a four-yard TD to cap the nine-play, 79-yard drive. PSU tried for two but McSorley was stopped.
Score at end of quarter: Penn State 6, Kent State 3
KSU drove down to the PSU 3-yard line early in the second quarter, but back-to-back penalties — including a rare offensive facemask (on QB Justin Agner)— killed the drive. Hynes made a 43-yard field goal to salvage three points.
Kent State's issues continued on its next series when a Myles Washington fumble (caused and recovered by Marcus Allen) gave PSU the ball at the 13, Saquon Barkley scored two plays later for a 13-6 lead.
But PSU had it's own offensive issues. Later in the quarter, McSorley was sacked by Terence Waugh and Elcee Refuge scooped it up and ran 20 yard to tie it at 13-13.
Penn State regained its footing with a long drive, but it stalled inside the 10-yard line. Tyler Davis chipped in a 29-yard field goal for a 16-13 PSU lead.
Score at end of quarter: Penn State 16, Kent State 13
Penn State came out with a bang in the second half, as CB Amani Oruwariye had a 30-yard interception return for a score to get the stadium rocking.
Later in the quarter, the red-zone issues that hurt PSU last season surfaced again. The Lions had two marches inside the 10, and one ended with McSorley fumbling on forth down and being thrown for a loss. On the other, Barkley appeared to rush for a TD, but it was wiped out by a holding call on RT Andrew Nelson. Tyler Davis hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Lions a 26-13 lead.
The quarter ended with Brandon Bell picking off a pass to snuff out a Golden Flashes' drive into PSU territory.
Score at end of quarter: Penn State 26, Kent State 13
McSorley capped things with a 30-yard scoring strike to TE Mike Gesicki. Penn State improves to 1-0 on the season.
Final score: Penn State 33-13