The Nittany Lions are in Memorial Stadium today for a showdown against Nebraska.
HALFTIME: Penn State 20, Nebraska 6
The Nittany Lions have been a strong first half team throughout 2012, and that trend continued in the opening half at Memorial Stadium. Sophomore running back Zach Zwinak galloped 50 yards on the fourth play of the game to give the Lions a 7-0 lead just 1:46 into the game. The Cornhuskers answered with two field goals before Sam Ficken drilled his first of two field goals, which gave the Lions a 10-6 advantage. Thanks to a short field on a muffed Nebraska punt, Matt McGloin marched the Nittany Lions 31 yards in five plays before completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jesse James. Ficken added a 38-yard field goal to set the score at 20-6 heading into the break. The Nittany Lions held the Huskers without a touchdown in the first half for the first time this season. If it weren't for a fumble in the red zone during the first quarter, Penn State's lead could have been bigger. Nonetheless, the Huskers have been terrific in the second half this season. The game is far from over in Lincoln, but the Lions are off to a good start.
End 3rd Quarter - Penn State 23, Nebraska 20
Nebraska's Taylor Martinez wasted little time getting the Husker offense into gear out of the locker room. Martinez's offense covered 75 yards in eight plays before trimming the Nittany Lion lead to 20-13. Three plays later, Nebraska had the ball again at the Penn State 4 after an interception. The Huskers punched in a score to quickly knot the game at 20-20 with 9:37 to play in the quarter. Needing to answer, McGloin and Zwinak powered Penn State in NASCAR mode inside the Nebraska red zone. Ficken notched his third field goal of the game to set the score at 23-20, Nittany Lions.
FINAL - Nebraska 32, Penn State 23
The Nittany Lions played well on the road in a hostile environment, but fell short on the scoreboard. Three turnovers, two of which in the red zone hindered the Penn State's attempt to finish undefeated in Big Ten road games. The Nittany Lions looked to be on track to score a go-ahead touchdown while trailing 27-23 in the fourth quarter, but fumbled at the goal line. From there, the Huskers added a safety and field goal to set the final score at 32-23. Nebraska scored 26 of its 32 points in the second half, and the Lions were limited to just one Sam Ficken field goal in the final 30 minutes. Penn State played well enough to win, but like Coach O'Brien said after the game, it is impossible to beat ranked teams on the road when you turn the ball over three times. The Nittany Lions return home for two weeks, and the team needs Nittany Nation in the seats filling Beaver Stadium.
- Good afternoon from balmy Lincoln, Neb., as the Nittany Lions prepare for a clash against No. 16 Nebraska. Temperatures are in the middle 70s, but the wind will play a factor in today's game. There is a stiff breeze blowing from the South (25 mph). Kicking or throwing into the wind will not be easy for either team. The Nittany Lions arrived at the stadium at noon (CT) before taking their traditional walk onto the field.
- On the defensive side of the ball, Saturday's game is shaping up to be an intriguing matchup between conference's best offense and one of the Big Ten's top defenses. The Nittany Lion defensive gameplan begins with slowing down the Nebraska running game, which leads the conference at 269.6 yards per game. Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez is the catalyst of the explosive Husker offense that is averaging 38.0 points per game. Penn State's ability to limit his production will play a big role in deciding the outcome. Martinez and running back Ameer Abdullah, who leads Nebraska in rushing (826 yards), both average more than 5.5 yards per carry.
- If there is one chink in the armor of the Big Ten's top offense it is the number of turnovers it has committed in 2012. Nebraska has lost 14 fumbles and nine interceptions this season. As a result, the Cornhuskers rank last in turnover margin in the Big Ten (-1.0). On the flipside, the Nittany Lions lead the conference in turnover margin (+1.0).