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Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden (1) is shoved out of bounds by Kent State defensive back Josh Pleasant (2) after a second quarter run during an NCAA college football game at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Sept. 18, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State delivered its 41st shutout under Joe Paterno and won its 500th game since the Hall of Fame coach joined the staff as the No. 22/20 Nittany Lions blanked Kent State, 24-0, in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State improved to 500-178-7 over the past 61 seasons, owning the nation's No. 3 winning percentage (73.5) since 1950 entering the game. The Nittany Lions earned their first shutout since beating Minnesota, 20-0, on the 2009 Homecoming game.
Penn State improved to 12-1 in its next game after a loss since the start of the 2005 season. The Nittany Lions are 13-1 after a loss if the 2009 season opening win over Akron is included.
Penn State permitted the Golden Flashes only 228 yards, including 58 rushing yards on 25 carries, and D'Anton Lynn and Derrick Thomas grabbed their first career interceptions. Kent State became the 18th team since the start of the 2008 season (29 games) to fail to rush for 100 yards against the staunch Nittany Lion defense.
Sophomore cornerback Stephon Morris' nine tackles were a game and career-high. Sophomore linebacker Michael Mauti tied his career-high with seven tackles and senior linebacker Chris Colasanti had seven stops, with a minus-yard hit. Junior safety Andrew Dailey made a career-high four tackles.
The Nittany Lions ran for 162 yards against the nation's No. 1 ranked rushing defense and quarterback Rob Bolden threw for one touchdown and ran for another. Bolden became the first Penn State true freshman quarterback with multiple 200-yard passing games in the program's 124-year history. He was 17 of 27 for 217 yards, earning his second 200-yard passing game of the season.
Senior tailback Evan Royster became the sixth Nittany Lion to rush for 3,000 yards in his career with his 15-yard run in the first quarter. He gained 38 yards on 11 carries and scored on a three-yard run in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead. Royster is 371 yards shy of surpassing all-time leading rusher Curt Warner's mark of 3,398.
Junior tailback Stephfon Green gained a game-high 59 yards on 11 attempts, including an 18-yard burst. Bolden added 33 yards on just four carries, including a 17-yard run. Junior wide receiver Derek Moye made four catches for a game-high 87 yards, including a career-long 55-yard grab in the first quarter. Sophomore wideout Devon Smith made three catches for a career-high 61 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown catch from Bolden, the first of his career.
The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start. On the opening possession of the game, Lynn grabbed his first career interception and delivered Penn State's first turnover of the season. Taking over at the Golden Flashes' 45-yard-line, a 15-yard run by Royster pushed him past 3,000 career yards, becoming the sixth Nittany Lion to do so. Bolden's one-yard touchdown run, the first of his career, gave Penn Sate a 7-0 lead just 4:54 into the contest.
On Penn State's second possession, Bolden launched a beautiful 55-yard strike to Moye to the KSU 15. The reception was the longest of Moye's career and Bolden's longest completion of the young season. Royster capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with 4:06 left in the first period.
In the third quarter, the Nittany Lions march 80 yards on 17 plays, taking 9:49 off the clock. The drive ended with a 27-yard field goal by Collin Wagner for a 17-0 lead late in the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Bolden found Smith around the KSU 10-yard-line and he avoided would-be tacklers to complete the 48-yard scoring strike to make it 24-0.
The Nittany Lions raised their non-conference record to 63-13 since joining the Big Ten in 1993, having won 17 of their last 19 non-conference games. Alabama and USC in the 2009 Rose Bowl are the lone setbacks.
Penn State won for the 35th time in its last 39 games in Beaver Stadium, dating to the 2004 Michigan State game.
Penn State will host intrastate rival Temple (3-0) on Saturday, Sept. 25. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Temple defeated Connecticut, 30-16, on Saturday, improving to 3-0 for the first time since 1979, under head coach Al Golden, a former Penn State co-captain.
Tickets remain for the clash with the Owls and can be purchased at www.GoPSUsports.com or by calling 814-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
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