The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

October 1, 2013

College football: 'Fantastic kid' Keiser sidelined for Penn State's Big Ten opener

'Fantastic kid' may be back for Michigan

By Tim Owen

For The Daily Item

The first portion of the football season couldn't have gone much better for Selinsgrove High graduate Ryan Keiser. At least that was until partway through the fourth game of Penn State's season.

After playing in each of the first three games, Keiser was having a career day against Kent State on Sept. 21. The junior safety amassed three tackles, one of which was a sack for a 2-yard loss. He deflected three passes and intercepted another. As the full-time PAT and field goal holder, too, he was as flawless as you can get.

"Watching from the sideline, I thought he did a heck of a job," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game, a 34-0 victory in favor of the Nittany Lions. "What a fantastic kid."

But later on, Keiser learned he had broken his hand during the game. Penn State had a bye last weekend, so Keiser had a week to heal, but O'Brien confirmed Tuesday that the injury will keep him out of action for the team's Big Ten opener. When Penn State travels to Indiana on Saturday for a noon kickoff, Keiser will not play.

"He's out for the game," O'Brien said. "He could possibly be back for Michigan (on Oct. 12)."

Preparing for the Hoosiers

Indiana (2-2) has the most potent passing offense in the Big Ten through four games and it averages 44.5 points per game. Meanwhile, Penn State's passing defense is ranked third against the pass and allows a formidable 183.2 yards per game.

Keiser's absence will surely hurt the Nittany Lions, so this could be the most crucial matchup of the game, in which Indiana is considered a slight favorite..

"They do a fantastic job," O'Brien said of the Hoosiers' passing attack, led by quarterback Nate Sudfeld. "(Head coach) Kevin Wilson has done a really good job. He was (offensive coordinator) at Oklahoma. Now he's at Indiana and tries to run 90 to 100 plays a game. So you have to get (the defense) lined up, communicate properly and handle the tempo.

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