The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 21, 2013

College football: Keiser stars for Penn State defense

Zwinak scores three TDs for Penn State

By The Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE -- Ryan Keiser was the star of a Penn State defense that pitched a shutout Saturday.

The Nittany Lions safety and Selinsgrove graduate had four tackles, a sack and a key interception that immediately followed a turnover by the offense.

Throughout the game, Bill Belton put the Nittany Lions into scoring position, and Zach Zwinak finished the job.

With Penn State freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg struggling on a sloppy, rain-soaked afternoon, the Nittany Lions' running back tandem was a formidable one-two punch in a 34-0 win over Kent State on Saturday.

Zwinak had 65 yards rushing and scored three times -- all from within 2 yards -- for the second consecutive week, but this time in a win as the Penn State (3-1) bounced back from a 34-31 loss to Central Florida.

"Scoring's one thing, but as long as we get the win it doesn't matter how many times you score or who scores," said Zwinak, who upped his season total to eight TDs.

Belton's 28-yard scamper set up Zwinak's 2-yard plunge to put Penn State up 14-0 in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Zwinak's 1-yard plunge came immediately after Belton's 11-yard run. No worries, said Belton, who had 90 yards rushing and a 15-yard touchdown catch.

"It's all good for the team," he said. "We play off each other."

And don't forget Akeel Lynch, who had a career-best 123 yards rushing once the game got out of hand for a Penn State running attack that totaled 287 yards.

The defense bounced back, too. After allowing 507 yards against UCF, the Nittany Lions limited Kent State (1-3) to 190 yards offense and nine first downs.

Add it up, and it left coach Bill O'Brien and company feeling a lot better about themselves entering a bye week off before opening the Big Ten Conference portion of their schedule at Indiana on Oct. 5.

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