MINN: Lions Rip Gophers

In a battle of two undefeated teams, Penn State (5-0, 2-0) dismantled No. 18 Minnesota (4-1, 1-1) 44-14 in front of a home crowd of over 100,000 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. today. The Nittany Lions' defense held a high-powered Gophers' offense to three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State scored on its first offensive drive when Michael Robinson pitched to freshman wide receiver Derrick Williams on an option run. Williams slithered past three Minnesota defensive players and dove into the end zone for the score. He ended the day with 41 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in addition to 34 receiving yards. The Nittany Lions also got help from freshman kicker Kevin Kelly who nailed a 47-yard field goal to bring Penn State's lead to 20-0 shortly before the half.

Minnesota showed signs of life when Brian Cupito connected with Ernie Wheelwright for a 49-yard touchdown pass shortly before the end of the half to bring the score to 20-7. However, Penn State remained relentless on both offense and defense, as the Nittany Lions played with an apparent moxy and attitude on the field.

The most telling statistic occurred in the first half. Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson out-gained Minnesota's entire offense by his running abilities alone, scrambling for 87 yards while the Gophers managed a meager 32 yards.

Despite Heisman trophy candidate Laurence Maroney in the backfield and the nation's 5th ranked overall offense, Maroney was held to just 14-yards on seven carries. He finished the game with 36 yards on 18 carries.

By the end of the day, it was an overall team effort for Penn State. The Nittany Lions had two players rush for over 100 yards, as Robinson ran for 111 yards on 18 carries and tailback Tony Hunt led all rushers with 112 yards on 21 carries. Robinson finished the day going 13-for-24 for 177 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Hunt found the end zone on the ground two times on the day. Seven different Penn State players saw touches rushing the ball and five different players with catches.

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