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Akron Post Game Wrap-Up

Final Score - Penn State 34  Akron 16

Offensive Player of the Game

In his first start at quarterback, Anthony Morelli went 16-32 for 206 yards. He threw three touchdowns to three different receivers and no interceptions.

Deon Butler hauls in a touchdown catch on Morelli's first pass

Defensive Player of the Game

Don Conner was all over the field leading the team with 13 tackles. He also landed two sacks and forced a fumble. If teams continue to run away from Posluszny all season, Conner will probably rack up a lot of defensive MVP's this year.

This pretty much summed up your day if you were a Zip

Pleasant Surprises

Two freshmen stepped up into the spotlight in their first collegiate game. Chris Bell saw a lot of time at wide receiver and made a great 19 yard catch. Many fans thought Michael Robinson snuck in the game when they saw number 12 run bust a 42 yard end around in the first half. But it was just freshman A.J. Wallace. Wallace also saw some action returning kicks. His first return came out to midfield where he fumbled the ball to start the second half. Given the wet conditions, we'll chalk it up to a wet ball. Luckily, Paterno gave him another shot, and Wallace returned the ball 54 yards to the Akron 40 yard line.

Freshman A.J. Wallace runs up the sideline for a 42 yard gain

"Oh Crap!" Moment

After scoring a field goal right before halftime, the Zips recovered A.J. Wallace's fumble to start the second half. Then the Zips quickly drove down and scored a touchdown to make the score 17-9. The Lions came out and took care of business after that. The game was out of hand after Hunt's touchdown run made it 31-9.

What Penn State Did Well

The Lions overall played a good game. The passing game looked excellent considering the windy wet conditions. Morelli's timing with his receivers looked good. The defense also looked fantastic holding Akron to 225 yards of total offense. They put good pressure on Getsy almost all day dropping him for five sacks.

Where Penn State Needs to Improve

The offensive line played well in protecting Morelli. He had plenty of time to throw and didn't get sacked all day. But the running game struggled. The Lions only managed 76 yards on the ground on 27 carries. 61 of those yards came on Wallace's 42 yard end around and another 19 yard by Tony Hunt. When Paterno was asked to comment on the play of the offensive line his response was one sentence: "They got their ears kicked in."

There was only one Nittany Lion not pleased with the results. His name was Joe Paterno.

Special teams was also sloppy. Chris Ganter slipped on a fake field goal and fumbled a snap on a field goal attempt. The return game looked good other than Wallace's fumble. Most of this can be blamed on wet conditions, but this may not be the last time the Lions play in the rain this year. The Lions need to tighten up the screws a bit, but they should be fine.

Looking Ahead

Next week the team travels to South Bend to play the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. I got home from State College in time to catch the second half of the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game. I'll preview the upcoming game later in the week.