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No. 14 Penn State 33, Central Michigan 14: A Tiny Letdown

Defense got torched early, but second-half adjustments kept the Chippewas at arm’s length.

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Johnny Dixon (3) intercepts the ball intended for Central Michigan Chippewas wide receiver Carlos Carriere (2) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

“Letdown” was the word of the week. And boy did it look like a letdown early. The Penn State Nittany Lions, coming off a huge win on the road at Auburn, were in the not-so desirable situation of having to play an overmatched opponent following a huge win.

Central Michigan showed it could score in bunches when given the chance, and, early the first half, that’s exactly what they did. The Chippewas, while turning the ball over plenty of times (Central Michigan committed five turnovers in the game), still managed to produce 363 yards of offense, 166 of which came in the first half. If not for the two turnovers, who knows what kind of game this could have turned out to be.

But what ifs are just that. The Nittany Lions, tied at 14 late in the second quarter, were able to drive to the endzone to make it 21-14 going into the half. Another turnover by Central Michigan, this time a muffed punt, gave the ball to the Lions inside the Chippewa 10-yard line, and shortly after it was a 27-14 game —Jake Pinegar would miss the extra point.

The Lions gave up some more yards in the second half, but they would not relinquish any more points, and Penn State would go on to cruise to a 33-14 victory. Drew Allar saw time for the fourth consecutive game, and, along with the other young players, is getting a lot of valuable time on the field that will prove indispensable down the road.

Nicholas Singleton with 42 yards on the ground, but Kaytron Allen made up the difference with his 111 yards on 13 carries on the day. The duo of backs continues to perform, and seeing Allen pick up where Singleton leaves off is an encouraging sign that the running game will not rely on any one person, or any one style of play.

Penn State will face Northwestern on Saturday, October 1st. The Lions will look to start the season at 5-0 for a second consecutive year.