The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 7, 2013

College football: Penn State flexes offensive muscle

(Continued)

And he made a big impression on fans needing a reason to back the program.

"There's a big, big difference than walking in there empty," Hackenberg said. "They try to simulate it with some noise. Nothing compares."

After the running game stumbled in the season opener vs. Syracuse, Zwinak broke through for a pair of short scores. Belton added a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth and had 108 yards rushing. Akeel Lynch added a 27-yard scamper in the fourth and also had 108 yards rushing.

Penn State's Sam Ficken set a school record with his 14th straight field goal, a 39-yarder that closed the first half.

Hackenberg started 0 for 3, and was 1 for 5. He was sacked and fumbled. Then he turned his game around.

Hackenberg hit Robinson, who had 129 yards receiving, for a 43-yard gain down to the 8-yard line. Zwinak carried a couple of defenders on him as he stormed into the end zone for a 2-yard run that tied the game at 7.

Lost in the excitement of Hackenberg's debut last week, was a backfield performance that had coach Bill O'Brien taking blame for the poor effort. No need for apologies after this one.

Zwinak had a 20-yard run in the third, then scored two plays later on a 7-yard burst for a 24-7 lead.

Belton had a 5-yard scoring run in the second, then charged into the end zone with an open field 51-yard burst down the middle that put the Nittany Lions' faithful on their feet.

Led by Belton and Lynch, Penn State powered its way to 251 yards rushing.

"It took a little while to get it going," O'Brien said, "but it was nice to see 'em get it going."

Penn State announced more than 92,000 fans were at Beaver Stadium, though it was far from full and there were scores of empty sections in the upper levels. O'Brien had stumped around the state asking fans to continue to support the program and fill the stadium every Saturday during this period of transition for the Nittany Lions.

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