UC GAME: FOS Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's win over the Bearcats at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

MAN OF THE HOUR: After a rough first half, Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson finally got into a groove. He finished with 220 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 62 yards and a score on the ground.

TURNING POINT: Robinson ran a play-action fake to Tony Hunt on third and 2 from the UC 3 late in the first half. Safety Harkuri Nakamura didn't bite and closed quickly on Robinson. About to be sacked, he flipped a short pass to tight end Patrick Hall for a TD and 14-3 lead.

STRATA-GEM: By establishing the deep passing game in the second half, the offensive brain trust gave upcoming opponents something to chew on.

BY THE NUMBERS: UC held the ball more than 10 minutes longer than PSU (35:08-24:52). It caused Lion coach Joe Paterno to recall his 1994 offense, which scored so quickly that then-defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky would ask his offensive counterparts to slow it down.

TWIST OF FATE: Penn State has made the most of its chances this season. The Lions have scored following all four turnovers they have forced.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: The coaching staff's frustration with veteran left tackle Charles Rush has come to a head. The senior was replaced in the second and third quarters by A.Q. Shipley, a redshirt freshman who spent the entire off-season and preseason at center. This likely paves the way for E.Z. Smith to eventually return to the line at center (see note below).

WHAT'S UP WITH: Not playing backup QB Anthony Morelli until midway through the final quarter? The sophomore was sharp when he got in, though, hitting on 4 of 5 passes for 25 yards and sneaking in for a touchdown.

HIT SQUAD: LB Paul Posluszny and CB Alan Zemaitis teamed up to level Cincy wideout Antwuan Giddens late in the first quarter. It set a tone for fierce hitting by the Lions in the game.

HEADS-UP: Paul Cronin was alert when Calvin Lowry caused a Mike Daniels fumble near the sideline early in the third quarter. Instead of letting the ball roll out of bounds, Cronin hopped on the pigskin to give PSU possession. Robinson went deep to Justin King for a TD on the next play.

HIDDEN HERO: Linebacker Tim Shaw had 10 tackles and a sack.

DID YOU NOTICE: That Tyler Reed was back in the starting lineup at right guard, replacing Robert Price, who struggled in the opener?

  • That E.Z. Smith, who took the brunt of the punishment for the Arrowgate affair, dressed for this game? So did Jim Kanuch and Nolan McCready, who were involved in the prank call mess. All three players were held out of the opener.

  • That another prank caller, Dan Connor, was not on the field. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported in Saturday's edition that Penn State's office of judicial affairs has barred Connor from playing or practicing with the team for 10 days. When asked about the report, Paterno said, “I haven't seen anything.”

  • That blue-chip recruits Aaron Maybin, Jared Odrick and Phillip Taylor were all in the house? Maybin is an LB/DE from Ellicott City, Md., Odrick a DE from Lebanon, Pa., and Taylor a DT from Brandywine, Md.

  • That for the second straight week, members of the grounds crew had to come out during breaks in the action to tend to divots in the field.

    UNANSWERED QUESTION: With its streak of 12 straight games without allowing more than 21 points broken, how angry will the PSU defense be against Central Michigan next week.


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