3 Quick Thoughts: Penn State 63, Kent State, 10

By Matt de Bear on September 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm
Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Stop me if this sounds familiar. Penn State got off to a slow start in the opening half but turned it on in the second half to run away with the game. After a slow start that saw the Nittany Lions up just 21-10 late in the first half, a late Trace McSorley touchdown made it 28-10 and set the stage for a big third quarter, and a big win. Three quick thoughts on the 63-10 victory:

  • We are running out of words to describe Trace McSorley. He was responsible for five total touchdowns today (three rushing, two passing) and could have had more if not for a few unfortunately timed penalties. As the Nittany Lions work to plug in a few new, and often young faces, McSorley's steady presence at the game's most important position has been big. His passing numbers (11-for-22, 229 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) aren't great, but several drops hurt the line, including one by Miles Sanders that dropped right into the Golden Flashes' hands for the interception. He also finished with 54 yards on 11 carries and the three tuddies.
  • The self-inflicted wounds on offense remain a concern going forward. Three touchdown passes were called back for penalties (two on holding calls, one on offensive pass interference), as well as the drops mentioned. For the second straight week, Penn State was able to rally, but those sorts of errors need to be cleaned up before hitting the Big Ten schedule.
  • Plenty of true freshmen, as expected, saw significant time in this one. That includes five who saw their first action of the year, Trent Gordon, Jayson Oweh, Jahan Dotson, Daniel George, and Zack Kuntz. Oweh certainly made his mark with a pair of sacks, and George hauled in the program's longest pass play ever with a 95-yard scoring reception. All five are likely headed for a redshirt year, but it's great to see them see the field and take advantage of the new four-game rule.
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