Penn State (3-0) will face off with UMass (0-3) for the first time in program history at 4 p.m. (BTN) on Saturday afternoon.
A gritty performance from the Nittany Lion offense and a stifling second-half defensive effort fueled the Nittany Lions to a dramatic 13-10 victory at Rutgers on Saturday. The Nittany Lions only led for 73 seconds in the primetime victory, but the group again illustrated an ability to make winning plays when it had to.
Junior cornerback Trevor Williams was a key figure in another standout effort from the Nittany Lion defense. Williams hauled in two interceptions and finished with five tackles in the victory. For his efforts, Williams garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career on Monday.
Williams and the Nittany Lion defense held Rutgers to just three first downs and 95 yards during a scoreless second half for the Scarlet Knights. Additionally, Penn State forced five turnovers in the victory.
Saturday's game marks the final non-conference matchup until mid-November when the Nittany Lions take on Temple.
Defense Among Nation's Best
Three games into the 2014 season, the Penn State defense is among the nation's top units in three major statistical categories. Penn State is seventh in the country in rushing defense at 68.3 yards per game allowed. The Lions are 11th in scoring defense (12.3 ppg) and 13th in total defense (275.7 ypg). Thanks to five interceptions on Saturday night, Penn State is also sixth in the nation in passes intercepted.
Lions in the Stat Rankings
Several Nittany Lions are among the leaders in national and conference statistical categories. Here is a weekly breakdown of Penn State players in the stat rankings:
QB Christian Hackenberg - Hackenberg is sixth in the nation in passing yards (1,082) and seventh in the nation in passing yards per game (360.7 ypg). He leads the Big Ten in both of those categories. He is 12th nationally in completions per game at 26.33. Hackenberg is eighth nationally in total offense (367.7).
WR Geno Lewis - Lewis ranks fifth in the nation in receiving yards and tops the Big Ten with 380 on the season. He is ninth nationally and second in the Big Ten with 126.7 yards per game.
WR DaeSean Hamilton - Hamilton is 13th nationally (second in the Big Ten) in receiving yards with 337. He ranks seventh in the nation and first in the Big Ten with 8.7 receptions per game.
DT Anthony Zettel - Zettel leads the Big Ten and is fourth in the nation with 2.3 tackles for loss per game.
Take a look through some standout numbers from the Big Ten opener at Rutgers.
4,000 - Christian Hackenberg became the 10th quarterback in Penn State history to reach 4,000 career yards. Hackenberg reached the figure just 15 games into his college career.
100 - The wide receiver duo of DaeSean Hamilton and Geno Lewis both eclipsed 100 yards in a game for the second time this season on Saturday. The last time two Penn State receivers both had 100 yards in multiple games was in 1994 when Bobby Engram and Freddie Scott had 100 yards in the same game three times.
95 - The Penn State defense limited Rutgers to just 95 total yards and three first downs in a scoreless second half on Saturday night.
73 - The Nittany Lions led Rutgers for 73 seconds.
13 - After trailing 10-0 at halftime, the Lions scored 13-unanswered points, including a game-winning touchdown from Bill Belton with 1:13 to play.
7 - Anthony Zettel has already equaled his season-high in TFL with seven hits for loss this season.
6 - Cornerback Christian Campbell became the sixth Penn State true freshman to make his debut when he played in the first half at Rutgers.
5 - The Nittany Lions tallied five interceptions on Saturday. The last time Penn State had at least four interceptions in a game was at Michigan State in 2005.
5 - Five days remain until the Nittany Lions meet UMass.
Rutgers Extended Game Highlights
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