Recap: Rutgers vs. Penn State
Piscataway, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Christian Hackenberg threw for 309 yards, helping the Penn State Nittany Lions come back to defeat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 13-10, in the latter's first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
Hackenberg completed 25-of-44 pass attempts and was picked off once for the Nittany Lions (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten). Eugene Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton were the top receivers with 106 and 103 yards, respectively.
Gary Nova passed for 192 yards on 15-of-30 attempts for the Scarlet Knights (2-1, 0-1), but he was intercepted five times and suffered three sacks. Leonte Carroo had 84 receiving yards.
After a back-and-forth battle in the first quarter, Penn State appeared poised to get on the board with a field-goal attempt from 34 yards out, but Sam Ficken's attempt was blocked by Kemoko Turay.
Nova got the Scarlet Knights onto the scoreboard first, three-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter, with a 14-yard scramble, finishing off a 10- play, 80-yard drive.
Kyle Federico converted a 32-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the half, taking Rutgers into the break with a 10-0 lead.
With 3:45 left in the third quarter, Ficken redeemed himself as he converted a field goal from 32 yards and two minutes into the fourth the PSU kicker added a 25-yard conversion to make the score 10-6.
At the end of a decisive late drive, which saw the Nittany Lions march 80 yards in a mere 1:49, a five-yard touchdown run by Bill Belton gave Penn State the lead for the first time and held up as the winning play as the Nittany Lions eventually ran out the clock.
James Franklin became the first Penn State coach to start a season 3-0 in his first year since Bob Higgins did so in 1930.
In addition to pulling off another late victory, the Nittany Lions received some good news earlier this week as well when the NCAA reduced Penn State's post-season ban, placed on the university in the fallout following the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. The Nittany Lions will be eligible to compete in a bowl game at the end of this season should they continue their strong play.Game Notes