UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to in-game coverage for the 2012 Penn State Football season. Each week, GoPSUsports.com will provide insight from the press box at all 12 games on the schedule.
Look back at Penn State's 34-7 victory over Navy.
1st Quarter: 11:25 - Penn State 7, Navy 0
Freshman tight end Jesse James recorded his first career touchdown with a two-yard reception, capping off a seven play, 72-yard opening drive. The Nittany Lions used a 12-yard catch by tight end Gary Gilliam and a 45-yard reception by Allen Robinson to bring the ball to Navy's two-yard line. It was a great opening drive by the Nittany Lions as Matt McGloin went 3-for-3 for 59 yards.
1st Quarter: 6:40 - Penn State 14, Navy 0
Allen Robinson recorded his second 45-yard reception of the day and this time took the ball into the end zone. On the touchdown play, McGloin did a great job looking off the coverage to the right before finding a streaking Robinson down the left side of the field. The Nittany Lions have taken advantage of the big play as Robinson's 45-yard catch capped off a four-play drive.
End of 1st Quarter: Penn State 14, Navy 0
There was a lot to like in that first quarter from the Nittany Lions. The Penn State offense scored on both its possessions and utilized a pair of 45-yard receptions from Allen Robinson in key situations. After Penn State's second score, Navy responded with a methodical drive down the field, but the Nittany Lion defense came up big when needed as Gerald Hodges intercepted Trey Miller's pass at the 10-yard line.
2nd Quarter: 8:59 - Penn State 20, Navy 0
Matt McGloin executed a perfect play-action pass to Allen Robinson for a two-yard touchdown strike. The Penn State ground game also was a big factor in that drive as Michael Zordich and Curtis Dukes rushed for a combined 45 yards. Zordich, who has seen some action at tailback, has rushed six times so far today. Coach O'Brien said that Zordich is such an important part of the team that he wanted to get him more involved in the offense.
Halftime: Penn State 20, Navy 0
Penn State played very well on both sides of the ball in the opening half. The offense utilized several big plays, with Allen Robinson recording a pair of 45-yard receptions. Matt McGloin effectively moved the ball down the field, going 11-for-16 for 196 yards and three touchdowns. The Penn State defense limited Navy to just 130 yards in the first half. Gerald Hodges recorded an interception, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong registered his first career forced fumble and Michael Mauti led all players with eight tackles.
End of 3rd Quarter: Penn State 27, Navy 0
Penn State's defense has played well all game, but it stepped up with two big stands to set the tone in the third quarter. Senior Michael Mauti has more than 10 tackles for the second time this season. His sack on fourth down during Navy's second possession during the quarter set up the Nittany Lions with very good field position at the Navy 44-yard line. From there, Mauti's roommate, Zordich, rumbled to the Navy 25 with a trio of hard runs. McGloin then found an open Trevor Williams across the middle. The ball deflected off of Williams right into the hands of Allen Robinson, who hauled in his third touchdown reception of the afternoon. Penn State will take a 27-0 lead into the fourth quarter, thanks to a huge day from Robinson and a stifling afternoon from the defense.
4th Quarter: 14:13 - Penn State 34, Navy 0
After forcing four turnovers at Virginia and three during the first three quarters today, the Nittany Lion defense was long overdue for a big play off of a miscue. Sophomore Mike Hull answered with a 74-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Hull scooped up a loose ball on a fumbled exchange from the Midshipmen. Hull's fumble recovery for a touchdown was the first since Navorro Bowman accomplished the feat against Eastern Illinois in 2009.
FINAL: Penn State 34, Navy 7
Boosted by big games from McGloin and Robinson on offense and a dominant outing from the Penn State defense, head coach Bill O'Brien earned his first career victory on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions turned in a complete performance on both sides of the ball. McGloin tossed four touchdowns, including three to Robinson. On defense, the Nittany Lions forced four turnovers for the second-straight game. Mauti led the way with 12 tackles, including 2.0 hits for a loss and 1.0 sacks. After relentless work in the offseason from O'Brien, the coaching staff and each member on the team, Saturday's victory was earned in every sense of the word. The Lions will look to build on Saturday's victory next week against Temple, but this day belonged to the entire team. Penn State caught some well-deserved breaks and executed well when it needed to on Saturday. Congratulations to Coach O'Brien on his first career victory.
Pregame Reading:- The Nittany Lions entered the stadium shortly after 12:50 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The weather conditions are nearly perfect. Temperatures will climb to near 70 degrees with light winds and sunny skies. Penn State will honor the men and women in the armed forces throughout the pregame festivities. Senior fullback P.J. Byers, who is active in the Navy, was named one of three game captains for today's game.
- The Nittany Lions will turn to Michael Zordich, Curtis Dukes and Zach Zwinak as the primary ball carriers on Saturday. Zordich is no stranger to the backfield, but he has taken a lot of reps this week at the tailback position for the first time in his college career. The senior back is a downhill runner with good hands out of the backfield. Dukes and Zwinak are both coming off of two very good weeks of practice.
- Navy's unique triple option style is a challenging offense to prepare for. Penn State's defense needs to account for several players on every down. Ensuring that the quarterback, fullback and pitchman are all covered on every play is what Ted Roof and the defensive staff have stressed all week. That task is easier said than done against a team like Navy that practices the triple option every day. Being disciplined on defense and working against Navy's cut-blocks is crucial for the Nittany Lions.
- Under head coach Ken Niumatalolo Navy has a 27-4 record when it scores first. When its opponents have scored first during that span, Navy is 5-18. Additionally, Navy has lost its last eight games when the opposition has scored first. Those stats speak volumes about Navy's ability to execute its offense without being forced to throw the ball.
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