Passing: QB Christian Hackenberg - 311 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: RB Bill Belton - 9 CAR, 108 YDS, 2 TD
Receiving: WR Allen Robinson - 7 REC, 129 YDS, 1 TD
Defensive: DT DaQuan Jones - 9 TKL, 4 solo TKL, 2 TFL, 1 Sack
The Penn State defense played somewhat of a "bend but don't break" style of defense. Eastern Michigan was able to move the ball early on, but when the defense needed to make a stop, they came up big. EMU was only able to muster 183 yards of total offense. Though they played tough defensive football, they were unable to force a turnover.
Once they offense found a groove, they proved way too much for Eastern Michigan to handle. Hackenberg found his rhythm with a beautiful deep ball to a diving Allen Robinson to set RB Zach Zwinak up for PSU's first touchdown of the day. Zwinak barreled through the line and carried two EMU defenders into the endzone. Bill Belton led the rushing attack for the Lions, including a 51 yard touchdown run right up the middle of a field. RB Akeel Lynch also had a big day on the ground in his PSU running back debut, racking up 100+ yards and a touchdown. Lions fans were happy to see him get touches, and are very optimistic about his future. Hackenberg again found Robinson on a deep ball for a 45 yard touchdown late in the game. K Sam Ficken hit a 39 yd field goal to set a record PSU most consecutive FGs made (13).
Overall, once the Lions settled into the home opener, they played very well. The defense stuffed Eastern Michigan's offense for the majority of the game, and the offense found it's groove and didn't let up. The offense should gain a lot of confidence from this performance and need to carry it through the rest of the non-conference schedule. The defense has proven to be solid, and barring any injuries, should be able to handle itself just fine. Sam Ficken has proven himself a reliable kicker, which is a huge step for the Lions team.