Scores

Final

Youngstown St 14

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(19) Penn State 44

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: BTN

12:00 PM ET, September 4, 2010

Beaver Stadium, UNIVERSITY PARK, PA

1 2 3 4 T
YSU 7 0 0 714
#19PSU 3 13 14 1444

Top Performers

Passing: R. Bolden (LSU) - 239 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Green (PSU) - 6 CAR, 32 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Barnes (YSU) - 11 REC, 134 YDS, 1 TD

Freshman QB Rob Bolden impresses for Penn State

Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Joe Paterno's decision paid off.

After beating out two sophomores in a spirited preseason competition for the starting quarterback job, true freshman Rob Bolden rewarded his Hall of Fame coach's confidence Saturday with 239 yards passing and two touchdowns in No. 19 Penn State's 44-14 rout of FCS school Youngstown State.

It was a promising debut for an 18-year-old making the first start in a season opener for a true freshman quarterback in Paterno's 45 years as head coach.

"He has got an arm, he's got a little poise, he did some things a little better than the other guys on more occasions," Paterno said. "There are days I came off the field not knowing who I wanted to play."

It sure seems like Bolden has earned a start for next week's showdown at top-ranked Alabama.

Not so fast, Paterno said.

"We're going to play it week by week, practice by practice and hopefully come up with different situations, and we'll go from there," said Paterno, seemingly exasperated at times by any mention of the quarterback competition. "Whether that means we'll have one quarterback all year, or three alternating, or what, I really don't know right now."

Bolden finished 20 of 29 passing with one interception -- and that came after receiver Derek Moye slipped to the turf on his route. Brett Brackett caught both of Bolden's TD passes and finished with career highs of eight catches for 98 yards, while Chaz Powell had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score to open a decisive second half.

Youngstown State's own new quarterback, redshirt freshman Kurt Hess, was impressive, too, going 21 of 25 passing for 189 yards and two scores. One of those was off a screen to receiver Dominique Barnes that turned into an 80-yard score to give the Penguins a four-point lead late in the first quarter.

"It sent a message that we were here to play," said Youngstown State's Eric Wolford, who lost his head-coaching debut. "We practiced good all week and we believed we could win the football game and we had the plays."

But Bolden settled in on offense, the defense settled down and Penn State overwhelmed the Penguins with too much talent.

"Obviously we're disappointed. We had our opportunities and didn't step up to the plate like we were supposed to," Wolford said.

Nearly everyone after the game was asked about the new quarterback -- except for Bolden himself. Penn State typically doesn't allow true freshman to talk to reporters, and with Paterno trying to limit pressure on Bolden, it's unlikely he'll be making the media rounds any time soon.

"He showed above and beyond what was expected with his poise and confidence," said Brackett, the 6-foot-6 senior captain who proved to be Bolden's favorite target.

With Penn State trailing 7-6, Bolden hit Derek Moye on a third-and-10 for a 27-yard gain to the Penguins 41. Six plays later, Brackett caught a strong throw over the middle at the 1, eluded the grasp of safety Andre Elliott and burst into the end zone for a 20-yard TD pass.

Unsettled early after missed tackles by the defense and a slow start for the offensive line, the blue and white-clad fans at Beaver Stadium breathed a collective sigh of relief.

It only got better from there for the Nittany Lions.

Collin Wagner kicked a 48-yard field goal -- one of three first-half field goals of over 40 yards -- to close the first half. Powell opened the second with his 100-yard kickoff return dash to the end zone to make it 23-7. Youngstown State challenged, but the play was upheld after a review.

Derrick Thomas leveled Youngstown State's Jamaine Cook at the 23 on the ensuing kickoff, a big hit that may have sparked a Penn State defense that appeared to be sleepwalking at times early on. The Penguins went three and out on their next drive, capped by Chris Colasanti's big hit on a short pass over the middle to Adaris Bellamy on third down.

Bolden then hit Brackett again on the next drive on a pretty 22-yard TD pass down the right sideline for a 30-7 lead with 8:56 in the third -- and the Nittany Lions were well on their way to a season-opening rout.

Paterno's son and quarterback coach Jay Paterno said Bolden's poise and maturity in camp helped set him apart. He hinted that Bolden should go into practice next week as the starter.

"Monday and Tuesday they're going to compete, and he'll run with the [first team] I imagine. ... There's no reason for him not to based on what we've seen," Jay Paterno said. "But we're still going to compete every week.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
YSU
PSU
1st Downs1422
Total Yards264371
Passing189239
Rushing75132
Penalties8-653-20
3rd Down Conversions2-127-11
4th Down Conversions2-30-0
Turnovers01
Possession31:3028:30

Passing Leaders

Youngstown StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Hess21/251897.620
Penn StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Bolden20/292398.221

Rushing Leaders

Youngstown StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bellamy12383.2011
Cook10313.107
Penn StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Royster11403.6013
Green6325.3112

Receiving Leaders

Youngstown StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Barnes1113412.2180
Lee2147.009
Penn StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brackett89812.3222
Moye56112.2027

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERYSUPSU
FG03:58Collin Wagner 44 Yd 03
TD02:09Dominique Barnes 80 Yd Pass From Kurt Hess (Stephen Blose Kick) 73
SECOND QUARTERYSUPSU
FG14:08Collin Wagner 49 Yd 76
TD01:20Brett Brackett 20 Yd Pass From Robert Bolden (Collin Wagner Kick) 713
FG00:00Collin Wagner 48 Yd 716
THIRD QUARTERYSUPSU
TD14:48Chaz Powell 100 Yd Kickoff Return (Collin Wagner Kick) 723
TD08:56Brett Brackett 22 Yd Pass From Robert Bolden (Collin Wagner Kick) 730
FOURTH QUARTERYSUPSU
TD13:37Stephfon Green 6 Yd Run (Collin Wagner Kick) 737
TD06:54Kevin Newsome 1 Yd Run (David Soldner Kick) 744
TD00:40Ely Ducatel 7 Yd Pass From Kurt Hess (Stephen Blose Kick) 1444

Research Notes

Chaz Powell had a kickoff return TD for 100 yards vs Youngstown State. He is the fifth player in Penn State history with a kickoff return of 100+ yards and the first since Rich Mauti in 1975.
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