FIU: Game Quick-Cap

The Penn State defense made a statement Saturday, shutting out Florida International in an easy 59-0 win. But the star of the day was Lion quarterback Anthony Morelli, which threw for 295 yards in less than three quarters of work.

Anthony Morelli had a big day for Penn State, hitting 23 of 38 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Morelli spread the ball around, hitting senior wideout Terrell Golden, tight end Mickey Shuler and fullback Matt Hahn each for a score.

He also found a variety of targets on non-scoring plays, with Jordan Norwood pulling in 5 passes for 92 yards and Deon Butler grabbing 3 tosses for 66 yards. In fact, Morelli hit nine different targets on the day.

The starting offensive line was impressive with its pass protection but struggled early opening up lanes for the running game. The first-team offensive line (left to right) was Gerald Cadogan, Rich Ohrnberger, A.Q. Shipley, John Shaw and Dennis Landolt.

Penn State was slow to get the running game going early but ended on an up note with Rodney Kinlaw leading the charge, carrying the ball 8 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Among those carries was a 28-yard gain. Austin Scott had 11 carries for 46 yards and two short touchdowns. In the fourth quarter Evan Royster had a solid touchdown drive with the second team offensive line (which was left to right: Nerraw McCormack, Lou Eliades, Pat Weber, Mike Lucian and Joe Toriello).

On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State shut out an opponent for third time since the start of the 2006 season. The defense was led by linebacker Sean Lee and Dan Connor, who swarmed to the ball on a regular basis helping to force an impressive five fumbles.

State's young defensive line made life miserable for the FIU backfield all day long, collapsing the pocket and snuffing out runs, resulting in an ineffective rushing attack by the Panthers. The front four starters of Maurice Evans, Jared Odrick, Ollie Ogbu and Josh Gaines were fast and fierce from the outset.

Penn State managed to get several younger players into the game, including Royster, and quarterbacks Daryll Clark (3 for 3 for 37 yards) and Pat Devlin (mop-up duty, only one pass attempt).

On special teams Jeremy Boone had a solid day, booting five punts for 237 yards, with a long of 57. Kicker Kevin Kelly missed his first kick from 51 yards, but managed to hit a 45-yard boot and was perfect on extra points. When FIU finally managed a scoring opportunity late in the second quarter, Jared Odrick snuffed it out with a blocked field goal.

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