OregSt: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and not much ugly from Penn State's easy victory over the Beavers Saturday.

Even after a week full of distractions for Penn State, the betting line on the Nittany Lions' Saturday home game with Oregon State remained above two touchdowns.

The bookies must have known something. Joe Paterno's crew looked as focused as ever in easily dispatching the Beavers, 45-14. Here is our breakdown of what went down in Happy Valley.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Running back Evan Royster broke loose for 119 yards and three scores in the first half. He became the first player under Paterno to have six rushing TDs in the first two games of a season. Royster finished with a career-high 141 yards.

CLOSE SECOND: Quarterback Daryll Clark was strong for a second-straight week, connecting on 14 of 23 passes for 215 yards and a pair of scores. Also, a tip of the cap to wideout Jordan Norwood, whose outstanding afternoon included six catches for 74 yards and a score in the first two quarters. He finished with eight catches for 116 yards and moved ahead of O.J. McDuffie on PSU's all-time receiving list. As fate would have it, McDuffie was at the game.

TURNING POINT: Tough to find a turning point in this kind of butt-whupping. We like that the defense rallied after Kevin Kelly's opening kick went out of bounds, giving Oregon State the ball at its own 40. The Beavers didn't get past midfield.

SOLID STRATEGY: Penn State showed more of the new Spread HD offense than in the opener, including several two-tailback sets. But one got the feeling there are still plenty of wrinkles left in the bag.

NUMBERS GAME: The Beavers averaged 2.9 yards on 32 carries. Nice work by PSU's rebuilt defensive line, which was shy two starters (more on this later).

BUSINESS AS USUAL: We may just rename this one in honor of Penn State's offensive line, which beat up Oregon State.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Penn State's kick and punt coverage teams were both strong when the game was still a game.

WHAT'S UP WITH?

• The incredible bad luck for Lion defensive end Jerome Hayes, who blew out his left ACL while covering a punt in the fourth quarter. Hayes missed half of the 2007 season after tearing his right ACL on a special teams play.

• Penn State playing most of its starting linebackers and defensive backs late into the fourth quarter.

• Kelly booting the opening kickoff out of bounds. A senior has to be better than that.

HIT SQUAD: Backup linebacker Nate Stupar made a crushing tackle on the opening kickoff. In the second quarter, he drilled Johnny Heckler when the OSU punter bobbled a snap.

HIDDEN HERO: Wideout Brett Brackett did an outstanding job blocking on several of Royster's best carries. Fullback Dan Lawlor blocked extremely well, too.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Tight end Mickey Shuler had another good game, with three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. As if beleaguered former starter Andrew Quareless didn't have enough to worry about (more on this later).

UNSUNG HERO: Not one winner but a group. Namely, the grounds crew, which kept the field in great shape despite overnight and early afternoon showers. The field was covered with tarps until about an hour and 45 minutes before kick.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• On Thursday, Paterno said Quarless would not play as last week's apartment-search fiasco played out. Though he dressed for the game, he did not play. Paterno declined to comment on Quarless after the game.

• Another resident of the apartment in question, cornerback A.J. Wallace, played in the game on special teams and in the secondary. But his action in the secondary was limited.

• Along those lines, PSU had been going with a nickel package in which starting corner Lydell Sargeant moved to nickel and Wallace took over at corner. In this game, Sargeant stayed at corner as redshirt freshman Drew Astorino handled the nickel role when needed.

• The final two players alleged to have been involved in the apartment incident -- defensive end Maurice Evans and defensive tackle Abe Koroma -- did not dress and were not on the sideline. Both had been starters. Evans was replaced by Hayes and Koroma by Jared Odrick. Paterno declined comment on them, as well.

• How well Oregon State fans traveled. Props to the Beaver backers for showing up at Beaver Stadium in serious numbers. Outside of their team's poor showing, seemed like a great bunch of folks who enjoyed themselves.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: What will this offense do when it faces a more talented opponent? But so far, so good.Ore


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