Quick-Cap: Seniors Sent Out with Win

Penn State survives Senior Day thanks once again to the strong play of its defense. The Nittany Lion offense lost four fumbles in the game, but Michigan State did not take advantage and allowed PSU to rally in the second half for a victory in the seniors' final regular season game.

Despite four turnovers, two of which were Tony Hunt fumbles, the Nittany Lions were able to pull out a 17-13 win over a Michigan State team that fought hard to send its head coach, John L. Smith, off with a win. It was a bitter-sweet day where Penn State closed out the season with a win, bringing its record to 8-4, but one where it had to say goodbye to several departing seniors.

It was another game where the defense stood tall, despite some short-field situations handed to MSU by turnovers. Paul Posluzny led all PSU tacklers with eight takedowns and two pass deflections. Nolan McCready and Dan Connor had seven tackles each, and A.J. Wallace had five. Seniors Tim Shaw and Jay Alford each had two tackles with Shaw grabbing two sacks and Alford getting one.

The PSU defense caused the Spartans to abandon their running game, rushing only 15 times for 42 yards. MSU's Brian Hoyer went 30 for 62 for 291 yards and one touchdown and was taken down three times.

On offense, depsite his stats, Lion QB Anthony Morelli consistently struggled, going 17 for 37 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a fumble in the first half and was sacked three times. Morelli managed to help the Lions avoid setting the record for going through a season of Big Ten play without a touchdown pass to a wideout when he hit Jordan Norwood for the go-ahead score in the third quarter.

Hunt, despite two fumbles in the early goings, ended the day with 29 carries for 130 yards (4.5 YPC). He also had two receptions for 19 yards.

The big name in the passing game was freshman tight end Andrew Quarless, who caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The Nittany Lions grabbed their third consecutive Land Grant Trophy over Michigan State with today's win and improved to 8-4 with a projected bowl bid to the Outback Bowl. Stay tuned to FightOnState.com for comprehensive converage like no other source of today's game and the upcoming bowl game.

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