Sunday, September 7, 2014

Football Falls 21-3 at Penn State on Saturday

The Akron defense forced three turnovers but the Zips were only able to convert them into three points as UA dropped a 21-3 decision at Penn State on Saturday.

Akron (1-1) picked off Christian Hackenberg twice and forced a fumble on the day, while the offense was without a turnover for the second-straight week. However, Penn State (2-0) would post 425 yards of total offense.

The Zips finished with 277 yards of total offense, but went 1-of-3 in the redzone and 5-of-17 on third down.

QB Kyle Pohl finished the game going 24-of-46 for 208 yards. Jawon Chisholm led the Zips with 30 yards on seven carries. Devonte Morgan led the Zips with seven tackles.

Hackenberg led the Penn State air attack, connecting on 22-of-36 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns to go with his two interceptions.

The Zips opened the game moving the ball well, driving 60 yards on 11 plays to the Penn State 7-yard line. However, back-to-back sacks pushed Akron back to the PSU 14 and Tom O'Leary missed on a 31-yard attempt.

After both teams posted unsuccessful drives, PSU broke the stalemate on a 22-yard TD pass from Hackenberg to Bill Belton to complete a four-play, 58-yard drive (2:58, 1st).

PSU would drive into the Akron redzone on its next possession, but Martel Durant ended the drive with his second-career interception with 12:55 to go in the first half. From there, neither team was able to put points on the board as the Nittany Lions would take a 7-0 advantage to the locker room.

The Akron defense opened the second half by forcing a PSU fumble on the third play of the half. Robert Stein would connect on a 28-yard field goal to cut the PSU lead to 7-3 with 11:11 on the third-quarter clock.

With the third quarter coming to an end, Hackenberg led Penn State on a 10-play, 79-yard drive to take a 14-3 lead. The drive was extended by a 28-yard Hackenberg completion on third-and-25.

With Penn State driving, Bre' Ford picked off Hackenberg at the UA three and returned it 51 yards to the PSU 47. It looked like the Zips would convert a first down three players later, but an official review ruled Chisholm stepped out-of-bounds just shy of the marker. Conor Hundley would be stopped in the backfield on fourth-and-1, giving the ball back to Penn State with 9:23 left in the game.

Hackenberg connected with TE Jesse James two plays later for a 44-yard touchdown, giving PSU a 21-3 lead with 8:58 remaining.

Akron would take its next possession to the Penn State 13, but would not be able to convert on fourth-and-10 with 4:09 to go.

The Zips have a bye week before they play host to Marshall on Saturday, Sept. 20, at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field. Game time will be announced on Monday.

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