|Penn State 44, Minnesota 14|
|October 1, 2005|
|Beaver Stadium - University Park, PA|
|Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Beaver Stadium grass, installed just this
week, was greener. The Goodyear blimp hovered in an azure sky that appeared
bluer. And Penn State coach Joe Paterno, smiling as he exited this field
for what seemed like the first time in ages, even looked younger.
"When your quarterback can lay the boom like that, it really makes you want to try to get every yard you can," said Deon Butler, a redshirt freshman receiver.
"He's a leader. He's a tough kid," Paterno said of Robinson. "He's a football player who happens to be playing quarterback. He could be a heck of a linebacker."
Butler caught six balls, and Derrick Williams, who also ran out of the tailback position on several plays and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, had four receptions.
"We're very balanced now," defensive tackle Tamba Hali said. "On offense, we can pass the ball and run the ball. And on defense, we've been able to stop the pass and the run. That makes it tough for teams trying to prepare for us."
The defense's three-and-out on Minnesota's three first-quarter possessions established the tenor of this game.
The Nittany Lions' offense responded immediately, going 64 yards on a nine-play drive capped by Williams' spectacular 13-yard scoring run.
Penn State went 67 yards the next time it touched the ball, taking a 10-0 lead on the first of three Kevin Kelly field goals. A 66-yard, 13-play drive that spanned the first and second quarters made it 17-0, Williams racing in from 5 yards out.
Gophers quarterback Bryan Cupito's 48-yard touchdown pass to Ernie Wheelwright near the end of the half made it 20-7, but the Nittany Lions opened the second half with another long drive, this one capped by Hunt's 5-yard run.
"That was the drive that impressed me," defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said. "We came right out and drove it down the field. That let them know we weren't done."
Hunt and third-string tailback Rodney Kinlaw scored the final two touchdowns as an afternoon that delighted the crowd of 106,604 came to a stressless conclusion.
"This is how it used to be around here," offensive tackle Levi Brown said. "What we want to do is let people know it can be like that again."