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Penn State holds on for first victory against a feisty Buffalo Bulls

By Kenny Varner

UNIVERSITY PARK – In one of the sleepiest game days the Penn State Nittany Lions had ever played in recent, history, nothing continued to go well for Penn State as not only did it do battle with the Buffalo Bulls but Mother Nature as well.

After an embarrassing loss to an up and coming Temple team in week one of college football action, the Penn State Nittany lions football team were looking to rebound sharply and put the past behind them in their home opener Saturday against a relatively unknown in Buffalo.

Rebound they did, defeating Buffalo 27-14.

After an impressive kick return to start the game a 58-yard return put the Lions in Buffalos end right away.

DaeSean Hamilton got the air attack going, catching a screen and going for a six yard gain.

However, the Bulls held on defense and it was Buffalos turn to see what the PSU defense can do. And they did just that, forcing the Bulls to punt in their opening possession.

Penalties hurt the Lions on the Bulls second possession of the game as Buffalo was aboe to get into Penn State Territory.

However, the Buffalos had their troubles with the yellow hanky themselves, forcing a fourth and five on the 35. Adam Mitcheson could not come up with the field goal, keeping the game scoreless in the first, with 5:29 left in the first.

After dodging a bullet, the Lions gave the ball to Akeel Lynch and the ball started to roll down the field.

Early in the second quarter, Penn State also had problems putting points on the board as Joey Julius missed a field goal, himself leading the game scoreless.

As time ticked down, neither team could find its rhythm as the game stayed scoreless through most of the second quarter.

A punt return by Penn State’s DeAndre Thompkins resulted in a 58-yard punt return.

The “Blue and White” started their march down the field deep into field goal range.

On the second play from scrimmage, Christian Hackenberg handed off to Brandon Polk and he ran 22-yards for the touchdown, making it 7-0 with 6:57 left in the half.

Penn State got ready to cash in touchdown number two after an interception by Carl Nassib, putting PSU to the 12.

A pass from Hackenberg to Mike Gesicki put the Nits on the six.

However, the Lions had to settle for just a field goal attempt. The kick by Joey Julius was successful upping the lead to 10-0.

Penn State had one last chance to sneak in some points as the half ended, starting on Buffalo’s 49 and then rolled to just outside of field goal range with 41 ticks left on the clock.

A Hackenberg completed pass got the ball down to the Buffalo 24 with 23 seconds left. An illegal substitution on the Bulls upped the line of scrimmage to the 19.

But the Lions came out empty handed and was forced to take a 10-0 advantage into the intermission.

At the half, Akeel Lynch was the team’s leading rusher with 46 yards while Hackenberg threw for 8-15-60 yards.

With the ball in the hands of Buffalo to start, the defense had a chance to make another big statement.

And a statement they did make, pushing the ball back into the Bulls 14 yard line before being forced to punt.

On their first drive of the second half, Penn State started at its own 47 and began to take it down into Buffalos side before being forced to punt.

Midway through the third quarter, Buffalo started its march up the field, getting into PSU

Territory as Ron Willowbee caught the Bulls first touchdown pass of the game for the visitors. The catch closed the gap to 10-7 with 5:33 left in the third.

In a valuable possession for PSU, Hackenberg hooked up with Gesicki and handed off to Lynch, picking up the first first down of the possession.

However, the ball was still too long for a field goal as it faced a third and seven on the 41.

Hackenberg found a wide-open Chris Godwin for the crucial pass, getting them to the 30.

Buffalo helped in the drive, giving Penn State an extra five being off sides.

A had off to Holt brought the Nits ever so closer picking up a 20-yard gaining that put Penn State to the four.

From there the drive stalled as Julius tried to increase the lead to 13-7 with 0:20 left on the third quarter clock.

Atwan Barkley almost broke the game open for the Nits, busting out a 33-yard run. Barkley had his number called on the next play as well, picking up a 17-yard run and putting PSU at the 12.

A reception to Godwin moved them closer, placing the ball on the five.

Hackenberg hit Hamilton from five yards out for the touchdown. The Julius PAT put the Lions in control, 20-7.

The defense held on the following Buffalo drive and gave it back to their suddenly explosive offense.

Barkley might have been the shot in the arm they needed as he finished with over 50-yards rushing.

A pass interference put Penn State at 50 and also gave them a new set of downs.

Hackenberg found Godwin once again and got the ball down to the nine on a 38-yard pass completion.

Nine yard TD run by Barkley put the game on ice for the Nittany Lions as the upped their lead to 27-7.

A late touchdown by the Bulls, cut into the lead but it was too little too late as Penn State added its first win of the season.

Barkley had over 100 yards rushing in the game.

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