CC: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's destruction of Coastal Carolina at Beaver Stadium Saturday.

It started as a slightly cool, overcast afternoon. But by the time Penn State finished whipping outmanned Coastal Carolina 66-10 in the season-opener at Beaver Stadium Saturday, temperatures had soared into the 80s and the sun was beating down on what was left of a crowd that once numbered 106,577.

It was a long day, especially for the Chanticleers, who were facing a major-college opponent for the first time. Here is a taste of what they encountered.

MAN OF THE HOUR: With all due respect to quarterback Daryll Clark, who hit 10 of his first 11 passes, multipurpose threat Derrick Williams put on a show in the first half. He had 149 total yards before the break. “I thought Derrick got a good workout today,” head coach Joe Paterno said. More to come on Williams.

CLOSE SECOND: Clark. He was outstanding in the first half, connecting on 9 of 10 passes for 121 yards and a score. Apparently trying to quiet questions about his arm, he did not scramble at all.

TURNING POINT: We'd say when they scheduled the game if we were smart alecks. Instead we'll mention Williams' 89-yard kickoff return for a score, which came right after Coastal had cut it to 14-7. The Lions never looked back.

SOLID STRATEGY: Penn State opened in a four-wide formation on offense (Brett Brackett replaced the tight end). But that was just window dressing. The Lions didn't show much of their new Spread HD offense because they didn't have to. Quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno dodged a question about how much of the new offense PSU showed in the opener. When Clark was asked the same question, he held his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart and smiled.

NUMBERS GAME: State was 5 of 5 on red-zone chances in the first half, with four TDs and a Kevin Kelly field goal (21 yards). The Lions finished 8 of 8 in the red zone for the day, including seven touchdowns.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Williams, Jordan Norwood and Deon Butler -- all seniors -- combined for eight catches for 148 yards.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Since we already mentioned Williams, we'll go with the kickoff coverage team. Lots of hard hits. Coastal's average starting field position was its own 21-yard line. “I thought they did a really good job compared to what we've been doing,” Joe Paterno said, referring to PSU's poor kick coverage in 2007.

HEADS UP: Linebacker Bani Gbadyu tipped a second quarter pass, alertly kept his focus and made the interception despite being hit.

WHAT'S UP WITH?

Penn State running an end-around to Norwood up 21-7 in the second quarter? The play lost 11 yards.

• Coastal calling a timeout on fourth and 4 from the PSU 14 with three seconds left in the game, only to come out of the short break with the field goal unit? Go for the gusto, Chanticleers.

• Penn State rushing through ANOTHER ceremony honoring past Nittany Lion greats. This time the unbeaten 1968 and 1969 teams got the rush job at the end of the intermission.

HIT SQUAD: Defensive end Aaron Maybin drilled CC quarterback Zack MacDowall in the third quarter, causing an incompletion. MacDowall took a few seconds on the turf to catch his breath before popping up. Maybin finished with five tackles and a pair of sacks.

HIDDEN HERO: State's veteran offensive line was -- as expected -- outstanding.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Evan Royster (three TDs) and Stephfon Green (two TDs) were both good. But so was fellow running back Brent Carter, who had 73 yards on nine carries.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• Injured linebacker and team captain Sean Lee donned a headset and helped defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

• Senior defensive end Josh Gaines took a few snaps at defensive tackle. Gaines said he is fine moving inside in a pinch. Paterno later said he used Gaines there because “I don't know if we have enough depth inside. … If something happens in there, we might have to put Gaines in there.”

• Running back Brandon Beachum was the first true freshman to play (as an up man on the kick return team). He handled the late-game ground attack for the Lions, too, pounding out 43 yards and a score on eight carries.

• True freshman Jack Crawford, who is listed at 248 pounds but appears to be much bigger, warmed up at defensive tackle. He played in the second half and made three tackles. Bradley later said Crawford is actually closer to 265.

• True freshman left offensive tackle DeOn'Tae Pannell played on the second team in the third quarter. He helped seal the edge on a couple of runs.

• The final true freshman to play was linebacker Mike Mauti, in the fourth quarter. He had one tackle.

Mike Lucian saw first-half snaps as a backup at left and right guard.

• True freshman Michael Zordich is back at linebacker after playing fullback for most of the preseason. Redshirt frosh Andrew Dailey also moved from wideout back to linebacker.

• Though his brother William started at QB for Coastal Carolina, former Penn State passer Wally Richardson spent the day on the Nittany Lion sideline.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Will Penn State look nearly as polished against a major-college team?


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