It wasn’t always beautiful, but it was certainly effective.
Penn State’s offense got out of its own way just enough and the defense dominated as the Nittany Lions routed Kent State, 63-10, to move to 3-0 on the season.
Trace McSorley and co. got going early and often in front of fairly full Beaver Stadium crowd, taking the opening kickoff and marching downfield for a 75-yard scoring drive capped by a 40-yard dime to DeAndre Thompkins.
The Golden Flashes’ first and only touchdown came on their opening drive of the game, one aided by three Nittany Lions offsides penalties.
Kent State quarterback Woody Barrett found wideout Mike Carrigan who made a nice catch (read: mossed) Amani Oruwariye for a 47-yard score.
The Nittany Lions quickly responded another 75-yard drive, this time capped by a McSorley 1-yard dive.
After a three-and-out and a shanked punt, Penn State then went 31 yards for a score with McSorley rumbling in again, this time from 2 yards out to make it 21-7, which is where the quarter ended.
Things went a bit haywire in the second stanza.
The Penn State offense stumbled a bit and while the defense held firm, the Golden Flashes still pulled within 28-10 after a dropped pass led to a McSorley interception deep in PSU territory.
The problem? Kent State scored too soon (and KJ Hamler exists).
After hitting the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and were forced to try again from 5 yards further back. Hamler made them pay, taking the kick all the way to the Golden Flashes’ 43.
From there, McSorley did the rest, connecting on a pair of passes and then scrambling in from 13 yards to make the score 28-10 with just seconds remaining in the half.
After the intermission it was all Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s defensive line dominated in the second half, shutting out Kent State and recording five sacks.
Offensively, the Nittany Lions picked up where they left off.
First, Mark Allen found the end zone from 7 yards out to cap a 57-yard drive. Then it was Ricky Slade’s turn, scoring on a 2-yard plunge after another big reception from Thompkins.
Brandon Polk made it 49-10 with 3:50 to play in the third quarter, catching a 41-yard bomb from McSorley.
That was the last play for McSorley and the majority of the starters as Franklin began to rotate in younger players.
True freshman Daniel George saw his first action of the year and immediately showed why he was a highly coveted four-star recruit as a wide receiver.
George put a beautiful double move on a Kent State defensive back and Sean Clifford hit him in stride for a 95-yard touchdown, the longest in Penn State history, to make it 56-10.
The final touchdown was another first, but this time it was for graduate senior Jonathan Thomas.
Thomas burst through the line for a 69-yard (nice) scamper to get down inside the Golden Flashes red zone. A couple of plays later he got the ball again and barreled in from 15 yards out.
All told, Penn State compiled a whopping 667 yards of total offense and held Kent State to just 221 in the blowout.
The Nittany Lions will now have six days off before returning to action on Friday night in Champaign, Illinois against Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini.