MSU: Game Breakdown

The good the bad and the ugly from Penn State's big win in East Lansing.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Senior cornerback Alan Zemaitis had three interceptions, preventing MSU QB Drew Stanton from ever getting too hot.

TURNING POINT: Midway through the second quarter, Donnie Johnson blocked Brandon Fields' punt and Matt Hahn recovered for a TD and 10-0 PSU lead. The Spartans couldn't get closer than 10 the rest of the way.

NUMBERS GAME: MSU outgained Penn State 401-293 but was horrible in the red zone.

TWIST OF FATE: Early in the second quarter, Lion Ethan Kilmer caught a pass and took off upfield. He fumbled while being tackled, and was fortunate the ball bounced straight into his breadbasket.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Johnson's punt block was the first of his career and the first kick block of any type by Penn State this season. Amazing to think a team 9-1 going in had not blocked a kick.

WHAT'S UP WITH: The poor tackling by the Lions in the second half? They tightened things up when it mattered, though.

HIT SQUAD: Jay Alford smothered Stanton for a key third-down sack (a 13-yard loss) in the fourth quarter.

HEADS-UP: Make this heads down this week. On Zemaitis' first-quarter interception, teammate Calvin Lowry saw he had an angle on the ball and ducked to get out of the way.

HIDDEN HERO: Deon Butler had four catches four 46 yards and PSU's only TD reception.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Dan Connor, living in Paul Posluszny's considerable shadow all year, had a great game at linebacker, with 14 tackles. Safety Chris Harrell added a dozen stops.


• That reps from four bowls were in the house? The Rose (1), Fiesta (1), Orange (2) and Capital One (2) were on hand. No one from the nearby Motor City Bowl, though.

• That injured Lions Derrick Williams, Mark Rubin and John Wilson all made the trip to East Lansing? Since none could play, it effectively reduced the team's travel roster from 70 to 67. Asked if he would be back in time for a bowl game after sustaining a broken left arm against Michigan in October, Williams said, “I'm trying to. It could happen, I know that.”

• That Austin Scott replaced Justin King on kickoff returns? King sustained a mild concussion in the Wisconsin game. King started at wideout, though.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Orange or Fiesta? Or Rose?


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