Well, it wasn’t pretty. But they don’t all have to be.
Penn State sleepwalked though the first half on Saturday night before outscoring Buffalo 38-3 in the second to come away with a somewhat flattering 45-13 win.
The Nittany Lions started strong enough, with Cam Brown both forcing and recovering a first-quarter fumble that Sean Clifford converted for six when he found Jahan Dotson for a 28-yard score.
That was all the scoring in the half for Ricky Rahne’s offense and after a late-half 96-yard touchdown drive the Bulls took a 10-7 lead into the break.
Whatever was said at half, Penn State got the message. The Nittany Lions drove down the field quickly on the first possession of the second half before a Ricky Slade fumble gave the ball back to Buffalo. Just moments later, however, John Reid picked off a Matt Myers pass and returned it for a touchdown to give the Nittany Lions a 14-10 lead.
They made it 21-10 not long after one a 23-yard seed from Clifford to Pat Freiermuth down the seam. Noah Cain added a 2-yard plunge and Freiermuth had a tremendous individual effort on a 28-yard score to give PSU a 35-13 lead after three.
The Nittany Lions added a late touchdown on a deep ball from Clifford to Dotson for their second hookup of the contest and Penn State moved on to week three with its perfect record intact.
News and Notes
-Pat Freiermuth played and played well after getting dinged up a week ago.
-The Nittany Lions still cannot get anything going in the run game and the rotation at tackle and guard appears set to continue.
-The defensive line struggled mightily in the first half but seemed to flip a switch in the second.
-The Bulls controlled the ball for 42:36, more than twice as much as PSU.
-Buffalo also ran 90 plays to PSU’s 47. Penn State averaged 7.6 yards per play to Buffalo’s 4.8.
-Buffalo ran for 194 yards, but had 58 carries for just 3.3 yards per carry.