Nittany Lions Down Navy For First Win
UNIVERSITY PARK – In a day of many firsts at Beaver Stadium, maybe the biggest and most important to the Penn State football team was the numbers on the scoreboard as it read Penn State 34, Navy 7.
For the Lions, it was the first-ever win for head coach Bill O’Brien, but as he usually does, the first-year coach always passes the credit to his players and students.
“Winning feels great,” said O’Brien. “Obviously in the history of Penn State football, there’s been a lot more wins than losses. It feels great, but again it’s only one win, I feel really good for our players and staff and I thought the student body was just awesome today, I really did. Like I told the team, we have to get treatment tomorrow (Sunday), take care of the bumps and bruises and on Monday, we have to get ready for a very, very good Temple football team who is coached by a good friend of mine, Steve Addazio.”
Taking the opening kickoff, Penn State put together a methodical 72-yard, 7-play drive capped by a 2-yard completion from quarterback Matt McGloin to wideout Jesse James. The big play on the drive was a 45-yard hookup from McGloin to Allen Robinson that carried to a first-and-goal at the Navy 6.
After a horrible day in the loss to Virginia, placekicker Sam Ficken received a thundering ovation from the Lion crowd when he was perfect with the conversion attempt to make it PSU 7, Navy 0.
After hitting Robinson for 45 yards to set up the first PSU score, McGloin again found Robinson for 45 yards, but this time the PSU wideout took the reception to the house for his second six-pointer of the game. Ficken’s PAT made it 14-0.
Following the Lions second touchdown, Navy put together a drive that carried to a 3rd-and-goal, but a third down pass was picked off by Gerald Hodges at the Penn State 10.
On the heels of Hodges’ “pick”, and Lions responded with their third TD drive of the game. The march covered 90 yards on 14 plays, culminated by a TD pass to Robinson of two yards, his second touchdown of the game.
“Coach O’Brien does a great job of game planning,” said Robinson. “We saw a few things they did defensively and we were able to capitalize on them. There were some other receivers open as well and Matt (McGloin) also connected with them. I think my being open a lot today was all about game planning.”
Although it wasn’t planned in that way, Robinson completed his trifecta by hauling in his third TD pass of the game. McGloin’s pass went off the finger tips of Trevor Williams, and Robinson was Johnny-on-the Spot to haul in the tip for a 25-yard connection and his third score of the game.
For the game, Robinson finished with five catches good for 136 yards and the three scores, all career highs for the sophomore wideout.
“Allen is a tremendous talent and hopefully he continues to progress,” said McGloin. “He is only a sophomore so he has a bright future.”
The Lions completed their scoring less than a minute into the fourth period when Mike Hull stepped in front of a Keenan Reynolds pass and returned the theft 74 yards for the score.
The Midshipmen did manage to pick up one consolation score in the fourth period when Gee Gee Greene went in from 12 yards out for the score. Nick Sloan’s PAT set the final at 34-7 Penn State.
Now 1-2, the Lions will remain at home Saturday when they host the Temple Owls. Kickoff for that fray is set for 3:30.
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