Oct. 4, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Penn State defense delivered another superb performance and Evan Royster gained a career-high 194 all-purpose yards to lift the No. 6 Nittany Lions to a 20-6 win over Purdue in Ross-Ade Stadium.
Penn State improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference. The Nittany Lions have won 37 of its last 46 games, the nation's sixth-best record over that span. The Lions are 6-0 for the 13th time under Joe Paterno.
With the victory, Penn State is eligible for its 35th bowl game in Paterno's 43 seasons as head coach. Paterno is the all-time leader in bowl appearances (34) and wins, with a 23-10-1 record.
Sophomore TB Evan Royster posted his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and fifth of his career. He tied his career high with 141 yards on 18 carries (7.8). Royster scored his eighth rushing touchdown of the season on a four-yard run in the third quarter. Royster set career-highs with four catches and 53 yards for a career-best 194 all-purpose yards.
Freshman TB Stephfon Green added 54 yards on just seven carries (7.7), including a 28-yard burst. Penn State ran for 202 yards.
Junior QB Daryll Clark had another big day, setting career-highs with 18 completions on 26 attempts and 220 yards. Clark also ran for a touchdown to open the scoring and led the Lions to 422 yards.
Senior wide receiver Derrick Williams made a game-high five receptions for 52 yards, giving him 136 career catches to move into third on the school list, passing teammate Jordan Norwood (135), who did not play due to a strained hamstring. Royster made four catches, Deon Butler had three catches for 39 yards, Graham Zug had two catches for 39 yards and Brett Brackett made two catches for 29 yards.
Penn State limited Purdue to 241 yards, more than 160 yards below its season average of 404.0 yards coming into the game. The Boilermakers were held to 83 rushing yards on 33 attempts and 158 passing yards.
The Nittany Lions extended their string of not allowing the Purdue offense to score a touchdown to 11 quarters, dating to the fourth quarter of the 2005 contest in State College, until late in the contest. Penn State allowed the Boilermakers only six points (12-0 in 2006) in the last two wins in West Lafayette.
Junior LB Josh Hull posted a career-high nine tackles in the first half and ended the game with a career-best 11 stops (all solo), including two TFL for minus-four yards. Sophomore LB Navorro Bowman made seven tackles (six solo) with two TFL, senior safety Anthony Scirrotto had six tackles (five solo) and senior cornerback Tony Davis made five.
Following a scoreless opening period, Purdue's Chris Summers missed a 45-yard field goal early in the second quarter. The Nittany Lions marched 72 yards in 13 plays, with Clark scoring on a sneak on fourth-and-one. Among the big plays on the drive was a 16-yard completion from Clark to Zug for a first-and-goal. Kevin Kelly's PAT made it 7-0 with 7:34 left.
The Boilermakers moved to the Penn State 19, but Summers' 36-yard field goal was wide with 3:41 left in the second frame. Clark led the Lions on a 72-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard field goal by Kelly as the half expired for a 10-0 lead. The trey marked the fourth time this year that Kelly has connected on a field goal in the final :30 of the half, three coming on the final play.
The field goal extended Kelly's consecutive game streak to 26 with at least one trey.
Penn State has out-scored the opposition 110-20 in the second quarter this season.
On the Nittany Lions' second possession of the third quarter, Royster capped a 61-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 8:02 to play. Butler made a tremendous 23-yard catch on the near sideline to give the Lions a first-and-goal from the four.
Late in the third quarter, freshman safety Drew Astorino grabbed his second interception of the season, returning it 29 yards to the Purdue 30. A 23-yard shovel pass from Clark to Royster gave the Lions a first-and-goal, but Kelly was forced to come in and connected on a 20-yard field goal with 13:06 to play to make it 20-0.
The Purdue offense ended an 11-quarter touchdown drought with 6:28 to play on a one-yard run by Cory Sheets, but Summers missed the PAT kick to make it 20-6. The Nittany Lions, though, were able to run off the final 6:28, as Royster surpassed the 100-yard mark on a 26-yard run. Royster ran for another first down and Clark ran for two.
Purdue held a 10:23 to 4:37 time of possession edge after the first quarter, but in the end, Penn State owned a 32:48 to 27:12 advantage.
Penn State improved to 10-3-1 in the series vs. Purdue, winning the last four games. The teams do not meet again until 2011.
Penn State will visit No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET. ESPN or ESPN2 will televise the contest to a national audience. The Badgers (3-1) hosted Ohio State on Saturday night.