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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 14 Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) held Rutgers (4-6, 3-4 Big Ten) to 200 yards of total offense to extend its home winning streak to 13 games with a 35-6 Homecoming-victory in Big Ten football action Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium.
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was responsible for three touchdowns, throwing for two and running for one to become Penn State's sole leader in career touchdowns responsible for with 68, while running back Saquon Barkley added a pair of touchdown runs and set the Penn State all-purpose career yards record with 5,055 in his three seasons. The Nittany Lions had a slower than usual start, failing to score first and failing to score in the first quarter for the first time this season, but they did not look back after falling behind 6-0 in the second quarter, scoring the final 35 points in the game.
The Lions had a historic effort on defense, as the 43 passing yards allowed were its fewest allowed in a Big Ten Conference game in program history, besting their record of 48 yards set at Rutgers last season. Jason Cabinda and Brandon Smith led the team in tackles, making 11 and 10, respectively.
- QB Trace McSorley - McSorley completed 16-of-21 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 44 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown. It marked his 14th career game with both rushing and passing touchdowns and his 25th consecutive game with a touchdown pass. With three touchdowns responsible for, McSorley moved into sole possession of first place on the Penn State career charts with 68.
- RB Saquon Barkley - Barkley totaled 85 all-purpose yards to become Penn State's career leader in the category with 5,055 yards. His two rushing touchdowns highlighted his efforts for the day, moving him within two of the Penn State career record. He rushed 14 times for 35 yards, was credited with one reception for 20 yards and returned a kickoff 30 yards.
- WR Juwan Johnson - Johnson led Penn State receivers with five catches for 78 yards.
- TE Mike Gesicki - Geisicki caught four passes for 45 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, extending his games with a reception streak to 24 and tying Jesse James for the lead in career touchdown catches by a Penn State tight end (11) and tying his own season mark from last year (5).
- WR DaeSean Hamilton - Hamilton caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter as part of a three-catch, 40-yard day.
- LB Jason Cabinda - Cabinda made 11 tackles, giving him nine games with 10 or more tackles in his career.
- LB Brandon Smith - Smith made his first start of the season at the Will linebacker positon for his third career start, and had 10 tackles for his second career game with 10 or more tackles (Maryland, 2016).
- K Tyler Davis - Davis converted all five extra-point kicks, passing Brett Conway (119; 1994-96) for most consecutive PAT kicks at Penn State with 122.
- RB Robert Martin - Martin had a game-high 71 yards rushing on 11 carries to lead Rutgers' rushing attack, which totaled 157 yards.
First Quarter (Rutgers 3, Penn State 0)
An unfortunate bounce put Penn State in an early hole. Saquon Barkley attempted to field a short kickoff inside the Penn State 20 on a bounce, but the ball bounced away from him and Rutgers was able to recover it at the 21. The Penn State defense forced a three-and-out, and Andrew Harte converted a 33-yard field goal for an early lead. The rest of the quarter was scoreless.
Second Quarter (Penn State 14, Rutgers 6)
Harte converted a 25-yard field goal with 11:16 remaining in the quarter, capping a 15-play, 57-yard scoring drive that consumed 7 minutes, 45 seconds on the clock.
The Penn State offense found its rhythm on the ensuing drive though, driving 65 yards on just four plays to take a 7-6 lead with 9:32 remaining in the half. After the Rutgers kickoff went out of bounds, McSorley opened the drive with 19-yard completion to tight end Mike Gesicki over the middle to the Rutgers 46, and then after a 1-yard Barkley rush, McSorley found Hamilton in between defenders down the left sideline for 25 yards to the Rutgers 20. McSorley then kept the ball himself, pulling it from Barkley and weaving his way 20 yards to the end zone to become the Penn State career leader in touchdowns responsible for.
Rutgers went three-and-out twice and Penn State once before the Nittany Lions assembled another touchdown drive before the half. The Lions reached midfield on a 17-yard completion to Juwan Johnson on third-and-3, and McSorley and Johnson then converted another third down, with McSorley throwing on the run to Johnson for 10 yards to the Rutgers 37 on third-and-7. McSorley continued to target Johnson, throwing to him deep down the left sideline and drawing a pass interference penalty to gain 15 yards to the Rutgers 22. McSorley then hit Hamilton on a post route in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown with 1:13 on the clock. Davis' extra point gave Penn State a 14-6 lead.
Third Quarter (Penn State 28, Rutgers 6)
Rutgers received the opening kickoff but Lamont Wade forced a fumble that Garrett Taylor recovered at the Rutgers 23. Penn State was unable to take advantage of the field position though as Dacoven Bailey sacked McSorley for a loss of 12 yards to the Rutgers 36, forcing a punt.
The Nittany Lions forced a three-and-out, as well, and took over at their own 45. McSorley connected with Johnson for 17 yards on the first play to move to the Rutgers 38. The Lions then used some trickery on third-and-9 from the 15, as McSorley dumped the ball off to Hamilton 3 yards behind the line, and Hamilton then pitched it back to Barkley at the 22 on a hook-and-ladder, and Barkley carried it to the 1-yard line. Barkley walked into the end zone on second-and-goal to extend the advantage to 21-6.
Penn State then received favorable field position following the Scarlet Knights' ensuing possession after Jason Cabinda dropped Rutgers tight end Jerome Washington for a loss of 2 yards on fourth-and-2, giving the Nittany Lion offense the ball at the Rutgers 46. It took Penn State just four plays to score, as McSorley rushed for 8 yards on first down, and then connected with Johnson for consecutive completions of 25 and 9 yards, respectively, to the Rutgers 4. Barkley broke through into the end zone on the next play for a touchdown and 28-6 lead with 1:42 on the clock.
Fourth Quarter (Penn State 35, Rutgers 6)
Gesicki tied Penn State's all-time tight end touchdown reception record with a 16-yard score with 5:07 remaining. It capped a nine-play, 64-yard drive highlighted by a 17-yard completion to Brandon Polk the play prior.
RU - 12:48 - FG - Andrew Harte 33 yd Field Goal, 4 plays, 7 yards, 2:12, 0-3
RU - 11:16 - FG - Andrew Harte 25 yd Field Goal, 15 plays, 57 yards, 7:45, 0-6
PSU - 9:32 - TD - Trace McSorley 20 yd Rush, 4 plays, 65 yards, 1:44, 7-6
PSU - 1:13 - TD - DaeSean Hamilton 22 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 7 plays, 74 yards, 3:26, 14-6
Penn State hosts Nebraska for Senior Day. Kickoff time and television coverage will be announced by Sunday.
For ticket information, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.