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Derek Williams celebrates his punt return touchdown.
Sept. 13, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; September 13, 2007 -- For the second time in his career, a huge play by Penn State's Derrick Williams has been selected the Pontiac Game Changing Performance, doing so in a landslide.
The announcement was made at halftime of tonight's ESPN Thursday night college football coverage.
A junior wide receiver from Greenbelt, Md., Williams swung the momentum in Saturday night's 31-10 thumping of Notre Dame with his zig-zagging 78-yard touchdown return late in the first quarter, sending the white-clad crowd of 110,078 into a frenzy. The score tied the game at 7-7 and began a run of 17 consecutive points for the Nittany Lions, who improved to 2-0. The punt return touchdown was the second of his career, as he had a 75-yard return against Temple last season.
Williams' return was one of four plays nominated for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance and Nittany Nation and college football fans responded by giving the play 52 percent of all the votes. A touchdown run by an LSU player was a distant second with 25 percent of the votes.
With Williams' selection as the recipient of the Pontiac Game Changing Performance, Penn State will receive $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.
A new feature this year with the program is that all fans who vote for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance also are eligible to receive a $5,000 scholarship.
As a freshman in 2005, Williams' game-winning touchdown catch in the final minute at Northwestern was one of five finalists for the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year. The victory in Penn State's Big Ten opener helped propel the Lions to a share of the Big Ten Championship and the conference's automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series, where they defeated Florida State in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
Coach Joe Paterno's No. 12 Nittany Lions conclude their three-game homestand when it meets Buffalo on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in sold out Beaver Stadium. The teams will be meeting for the first time since 1900. Buffalo (1-1) defeated Temple, 42-7, last Saturday.
The Penn State-Buffalo game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. The game can be seen on DirecTV (Ch. 218) and DISH Network (Ch. 440, SD; Ch. 9501, HD). Approximately 100 cable providers within the Big Ten footprint are carrying the Big Ten Network, including D&E Communications and Millheim TV Transmission in Central Pennsylvania.
All Penn State football and basketball games air on the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com the official website of Penn State Athletics.
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