NCAA Game Summary - Florida International at Penn State|
(Saturday, September 1st)
Final Score: (17) Penn State 59, Florida International 0
University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Anthony Morelli completed 23-of-38
passes for a career-best 295 yards and three scores as 17th-ranked Penn State
crushed Florida International, 59-0, at Beaver Stadium.
It was a raucous season opener for Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who
returned to the sideline for his 42nd season and for the first time since
breaking his leg last November in a sideline collision at Wisconsin.
Evan Royster rushed eight times for 70 yards with a touchdown and Rodney
Kinlaw added 67 yards on eight carries with a score for the Nittany Lions
(1-0), who welcome Notre Dame next Saturday.
Jordan Norwood added five catches for 92 yards, Mickey Shuler had a TD
catch while Austin Scott rushed 11 times for 47 yards and a pair of
"I think it was a good first game for us," said Paterno. "I thought the
defense played well pretty much the whole game. Kicking was good. Overall I
thought it was a good first game."
Wayne Younger threw for 117 yards on 12-of-25 passing and was sacked four
times for the Golden Panthers (0-1). Julian Reams gained just 15 yards on
eight carries and Greg Ellingson had three catches for 31 yards.
"Well, we came up here and we did play hard, we did. We just made the typical
young team errors," said FIU head coach Mario Cristobal. "We gave the ball up
in our own territory. They've got phenomenal athletes. You know what coach
Paterno has done in his time and this is another example of another one of
their great teams."
Already up by a healthy margin, Penn State continued its onslaught in the
second half. After the Lions failed on their first drive, FIU kick returner
Lionell Singleton had the ball ripped away on the ensuing punt return to give
the Lions the ball on the Panthers' 25. Three plays later, Scott ran it in
from eight yards for a 31-0 contest 2:46 into the third.
A 15-yard TD run by Kinlaw put the Lions ahead 38-0 almost three minutes
later, and Matt Hahn's one-yard reception for another score boosted
the lead to 45-0.
Royster's 13-yard scamper with four seconds to play in the quarter made
it 52-0, then Dan Lawlor rumbled in from 16 yards on the first play of the
fourth for the final score in a 59-0 rout.
"I think we did well. We came off some blocks," Paterno said about the
defensive line, which helped Penn State earn its third shutout win in the last
six games. "We were consistent. We didn't do any dumb things up front."
Penn State struck on their first possession, when Morelli found Terrell Golden
in the back left corner of the end zone on a four-yard strike 4:25 into the
On the ensuing kickoff, Singleton coughed up the football and Penn State's
Justin King recovered on the Panthers' 36-yard-line, but the Lions failed to
FIU fumbled again on their next possession, and Penn State was set up on the
visitors' 20-yard-line. Three plays later Morelli connected with a wide-
open Shuler on a 17-yard pass for a 14-0 lead.
Kevin Kelly booted a 45-yard field-goal to give Penn State a 17-0 advantage
with 6:41 remaining in the second, and it was 24-0 on the Nits' next march
when Scott dove in from one-yard out with 2:39 to go before the half.
The Golden Panthers had a chance to get on the board with 46 seconds before
the break, but a 29-yard attempt by Dustin Rivest was blocked.
Paterno improved to 35-7 in PSU season-openers...It was the first ever meeting
between the teams...Penn State outgained FIU in total offense by 523-114...FIU
fumbled four times in the first quarter alone, and the Lions defense recorded
six sacks against Younger and back-up Colt Anderson...Attendance was 107,678.
09/01 20:23:19 ET