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Kent State (1-2) at Penn State (2-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 21, 3:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Beaver Stadium (106,572) -- University Park, Pennsylvania. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: KSU 1-1, PSU 1-1. Away Record: KSU 0-1, PSU 0-0. Neutral Record: KSU 0-0, PSU 1-0. Conference Record: KSU 0-1, PSU 0-0. Series Record: PSU leads, 3-0.

GAME NOTES: The Penn State Nittany Lions will make their final non-conference appearance when they host the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State got off to a 2-0 start with wins over Syracuse and Eastern Michigan. However, the Nittany Lions were tripped up last week by UCF, 34-31. This weekend's bout wraps up a stretch of three straight home games for Bill O'Brien's squad.

Kent State is trying to avoid a third straight defeat. One week after suffering a 41-22 home loss to Bowling Green in their Mid-American Conference opener, the Golden Flashes were on the wrong end of Saturday's 45-13 road loss to LSU. They are in the midst of a key stretch that will see them play three straight and four of five in unfriendly confines.

PSU won the most recent meeting in 2010 and holds a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with Kent State.

Through three games, Kent State's offense ranks among the least efficient units in all of the FBS. The Golden Flashes rank 108th nationally in scoring offense (17.3 ppg) and 113th in total offense (303.7 ypg).

Against a stingy LSU defense, they managed only 248 yards of total offense, including only 58 on the ground for a team average of 1.8 yards per rush. Kent State converted only 4-of-14 third downs and had to settle for field goals on two of its three trips inside the red zone. Colin Reardon completed an efficient 20-of-29 passes, but he finished with only 190 yards and no touchdowns as he seldom took shots down the field.

The KSU defense allowed LSU to have its biggest offensive output in a game since 2007, as the Tigers totaled 571 yards from scrimmage and averaged 10.4 yards per play, the second-best mark in school history. LSU racked up 26 first downs and gashed the Golden Flashes with 307 yards and three scores on the ground. LSU made seven trips to the red zone and came away with five touchdowns and a field goal. Luke Wollet paced the Kent State defense with nine tackles, including one for loss, and a pass breakup. Through three games, he leads the team with 24 tackles, followed by Matt Dellinger with 22.

Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors twice in his first three weeks under center. In the loss to UCF, he completed 21-of-28 passes for 262 yards with one touchdown an no interceptions. Hackenberg, one of only three true freshman quarterbacks over the last century to start Penn State's season opener, is completing an impressive 72 percent of his pass attempts. Three of his four scoring strikes have been for 45 yards or longer, and he leads all Big Ten quarterbacks with 22 completions per game. Of course, any quarterback would love to have the opportunity to throw to star junior wideout Allen Robinson, the reigning Big Ten Receiver of the Year. In 10 quarters of action this season, Robinson ranks among the national leaders with 23 receptions for 405 yards and three touchdowns. Zach Zwinak has also been featured offensively and is coming off a career-high three touchdowns on 128 rushing yards against the Knights.

After giving up a total of 24 points over their first two games, the Nittany Lions allowed 34 in the loss to UCF. The Knights converted 7-of-12 third downs and finished with 507 yards of total offense to send O'Brien's defense back to the drawing board. Safety Malcolm Willis came up with an interception late in the first half while Trevor Williams recorded six tackles and two pass breakups. However, UCF was able to frequently get to the second level and put pressure on the Nittany Lions, who were unable to come up with stops when they needed to.

Still, there are reasons for the Blue and White defense to remain optimistic. One of those reasons is senior defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, who leads the conference with five tackles for loss to go along with his team-high 23 tackles. When Jones is able to impact the game at the point of attack, it frees things up for the Penn State linebackers to roam around and make plays.

Look for the Nittany Lions to come out with a purpose after last week's disappointing loss. Hackenberg and Robinson could both be in store for big days against Kent State's leaky defense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn State 44, Kent State 14

09/18 10:33:22 ET

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    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

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    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
2nd
POR 25
DAL 27
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
 
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
 
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
 
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
 
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 70
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
Final
LAM 61
SHSU 67
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
Final
PVU 73
SOUTH 77
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
Final
NO 85
SELA 79
 
Final
INCWORD 64
ABCHRIST 52
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
Final
ARZ 99
CAL 60
 
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
 
Final
WEBER 74
IDAHO 63
 
Final
UCONN 53
MEM 54
 
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
 
Final
STEPH 92
NWST 66
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
Final
DAVID 82
VCU 55
 
Final
IDST 81
EWASH 85
 
Final
QUIN 74
MAR 80
 
Final
BEL 97
EILL 64
 
2nd
DRAK 43
BRAD 43
 
2nd
LBSU 39
CSNO 31
 
2nd
UCI 37
CSFU 29
 
2nd
UCD 35
UCR 40
 
1st
ARST 3
STAN 2
 
1st
WASU 7
UTAH 4
 
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
3rd
ARI 2
VAN 1
 
1st Intermission
LOS 2
MON 0