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Penn State 52, Eastern Illinois 3: We Finally Get The Beatdown We Were Promised

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This was the fourth and final installment of a highly criticized out of conference schedule and really the first time all year the team dominated from start to finish like we all were expecting. 

Clark made it look way too easy through the air -- a 12.3 yard average and 128.1 QB rating were both by far the highest numbers turned in this year- - although he had just 19 attempts, which qualifies as the season low.

Powel led the way on the other end of the aerial attack with 79 yards and a touchdown.  Zug and Moye combined for 67 yards, Quarless and Suhey continue to be an important part of the offense, and how about freshman Justin Brown?  Summarized nicely by the CDT:

Freshman wide receiver Justin Brown made the first three catches of his Penn State career, including a 26-yard grab of a Daryll Clark pass in the second quarter and a diving, toe-tapping sideline grab of a Kevin Newsome pass in the fourth quarter. Brown also had a 20-yard punt return, the longest by a Nittany Lion this season, in the third quarter.

The chessmasters put Clark back into the ‘protect your queen' mode (please don't read too much into that).  Royster (11.8 ypc) rebounded from being shown up a bit by Green against Illinois, but both backs looked strong.  Green has really come around in the last two weeks in terms of patience.

Newsome finally got some work in: 4/5 and 49 yards rushing.  He might be the most athletic player on the team, but he also has a long way to go as a passer.

The defense was Lee-less for another week, but still smothering.  Former underperforming Iowa quarterback Jake Christensen had his worst game of the season (which wasn't unexpected); he finished with a 51.6 rating and a pretty large amount of sideline rage by the end of the game.

The highlight was most certainly this.  But probably more entertaining are the post-game comments:

 

 

Next week: the season essentially begins.  A run that starts Minnesota-Michigan-Northwestern will be the first time all year the team has to actually care about three games in a row, and we only had to get through half the fall to get here.  Alright season, welcome home!