|Penn State 45, Buffalo 24|
|September 15, 2007|
|Beaver Stadium - University Park, PA|
|Kickoff Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT|
UNIVERSITY PARK For the first three quarters, Saturdays
game followed the early-season script Penn States offense,
after a sleepy start, had found its footing and was making frequent visits
to Buffalos end zone. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions defense
was its usual sideline-to-sideline stone wall, keeping the Bulls
like Florida International and Notre Dame out of its own end zone.
But this script saw some late editing.
make it 38-17.
Again the Nittany Lions answered, going 44 yards in five brisk plays after Navorro Bowman recovered an onside kick attempt, but the Bulls werent finished either.
Working against the second-team defense, Willy led his team 76 yards in 10 plays, finding LaRon Haymore for a 2-yard touchdown with 12 seconds to play.
Understandably, the 107,506 in attendance didnt provide the same kind of atmosphere they did a week ago during Penn States prime-time, 31-10 dismantling of Notre Dame. The student section was less than two-thirds full at kickoff. The Nittany Lions didnt offer much to cheer about until the section had all but filled in late in the second quarter.
Connor attributed the sluggishness to a hangover effect from the Notre Dame game more than his team overlooking Buffalo, saying that team practices didnt have the desired tempo last week.
We were working hard, but we just werent on the same level, said Connor, who tied fellow linebacker Sean Lee for the tackles lead Saturday with 12 stops.
I wasnt happy with the way I was practicing, and with the defense in general. So I think we need to step it up in practice and thats gonna help us in the games.
Morelli, who finished 20-of- 27 for 202 yards and no interceptions, continues to remain optimistic that his offense will overcome its habit of crawling out of the gate. Its quick-strike scoring ability, on full display Saturday, backs that up. Five of Penn States scoring drives took fewer than three minutes.
Weve got to stay patient, thats the whole thing with us, Morelli said. Maybe we try to come out and make too big of plays off the bat, and thats why we start off slow, but as long as we stay patient and let things develop, were going to be fine.
Kinlaw carried the ball 23 times for 129 yards, both career highs, and added a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Scott had nine rushes for 53 yards and a score, and Deon Butler led Penn State with five catches for 72 yards.
Willy was 28-of-39 for 330 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Buffalos Naaman Roosevelt led all receivers with seven catches and 114 yards.
The Nittany Lions open their Big Ten season Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., where they will face a Michigan team they havent defeated in their last eight tries. The fourth quarter against the Bulls will give them as much to think about as the Wolverines erratic start. I dont know where we are yet, Paterno said.
His players hope is that those final three Buffalo drives will help them find out.
Were gonna learn the most about our defense from watching tape of this game more than any other game, Connor said. When a team drives down the field on you and puts up a couple touchdowns, thats when youre gonna improve. Its good to do it this early in the season, without taking a hit in the Big Ten schedule later in the year.