University Park, Pa. – Playing in front of the biggest crowd ever to see a Youngstown State football game, the Penguins came out and held Penn State scoreless for the first 20 minutes, but a 20-point outburst by the Nittany Lions in the final 10 minutes of the half proved to be the difference in a 37-3 YSU loss at Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A crowd of 104,954 was in attendance and a national-television ESPNU audience watched as the Penguins dropped to 2-1 on the season while Penn State improved to 2-1.
For the first 20 minutes, both teams battled for field position in a scoreless contest. But a flourish of Penn State points before the half proved to be a difference maker.
The Nittany Lions picked up their first score with 9:51 remaining in the second quarter on a 49-yard field goal by Kevin Kelly.
The first Penn State big play came on the next series following some trickery. A.J. Wallace took the second handoff on a double-reverse play 76 yards around the right side and raced in for a score.
YSU's first turnover of the game set up Penn State's next touchdown. On third-and-seven from the Penguin 35-yard line, Tom Zetts' pass was intercepted by Anthony Scirrotto at the 50 and he returned it to the YSU 22.
Three plays following the interception, PSU found the end zone for the once again on an 11-yard touchdown run by Tony Hunt.
On the final play before the half, the Nittany Lions added another Kelly field goal, this time from 28 yards to boost the lead to 20-0 at the half.
Following halftime, the Penguins took their initial possession on their longest drive of the game. YSU marched 64 yards yards on 14 plays before Brian Palmer kicked a 33-yard field goal. For Palmer it was his first attempt of the season.
Penn State answered with the final 17 points as Derrick Williams scored on a four-yard run and Kelly converted a 36-yarder for his third field goal of the game. Kelly, however, missed three field goal attempts in the contest. Daryll Clark scored on an 18-yard run with 1:37 remaining in the game.
YSU played without the services of tailback Marcus Mason, who had rushed for more than 100 yards in the first two games. Mason had a hamstring injury that limited him in practice all week and forced him to miss the contest.
The Penguins return to action at Stambaugh Stadium next Saturday when they play host to UC Davis. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The Aggies, which were ranked 21st in the nation entering Saturday's action, won 45-0 at Montana State.