Penn State turned in its third straight road blowout victory Saturday and improved its Big Ten record to 4-1 with a 34-9 thumping of Purdue. Here are the highs and lows from a cold afternoon in West Lafayette.
Brandon Moseby-Felder had two huge catches in the win over Purdue.
GAME BALL (OFFENSE) - Brandon Moseby-Felder
The sophomore wide receiver stepped up on a day when Penn State was without one of its top targets (Kyle Carter), grabbing six passes for a career-high 129 yards and a touchdown.
GAME BALL (DEFENSE) - Gerald Hodges
The senior linebacker had a game-high eight tackles, including three for loss, and made plays against the run and in pass coverage. As he has all season, Hodges helped set an aggressive tone early in the game and his teammates fed off it.
GAME BALL (SPECIAL TEAMS) - Sam Ficken
Penn State's beleaguered kicker made both of his field-goal tries -- and both were important kicks at the time -- shaking off some shaky snaps by Ty Howle and converting on a cold, windy day. Purdue's Akeem Hunt, who had 184 yards on seven kickoff returns, deserves a nod as well.
PLAY OF THE GAME - Matt McGloin underthrew Brandon Moseby-Felder but the wide receiver still came up with the ball for a 42-yard pickup, setting up Penn State's first touchdown and allowing the Nittany Lions to breath a sigh of relief after a sloppy start.
WORST PASS - McGloin had Moseby-Felder open on a 4th-and-1 at midfield on Penn State's first drive but his short throw was low and gave the receiver no chance to make a play.
BEST RUN - Boilermaker running back Akeem Shavers picked up 37 yards to the Penn State 4-yard line, setting up Purdue's only points of the half.
WORST DROP - Caleb TerBush's pass went off the fingertips of Kurt Weytag in the end zone on a 2nd-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, squandering what at the time seemed Purdue's best chance to score a touchdown.
WORST FUMBLE - Akeem Shavers put the ball on the ground in the first quarter, giving Penn State momentum at a point in the game when the Nittany Lions didn't have any.
BEST KICK - Alex Butterworth hit a 39-yard punt that rolled down to Purdue's 3-yard line in the fourth quarter, where it was downed by Jesse Della Valle.
WORST KICK - Purdue's Paul Griggs' 45-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright midway through the second quarter.
BEST RETURN - Akeem Hunt caught Penn State's kick coverage team flat-footed and sprung a 47-yard kickoff return to his own 48-yard line to start the game.
BEST TACKLE - Gerald Hodges made a nice recovery to stuff Rob Henry a yard short of the first down late in the second quarter, helping set up a Penn State touchdown drive.
WORST TACKLE - Purdue free safety Taylor Richards did little more than bounce off of Jesse James as the big freshman tight end rolled into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
BEST HIT - Adrian Amos popped Dolapo Macarthy near the goal line on Purdue's first series, helping to save a touchdown.
BEST SACK - Sean Stanley made a long run across the field to dump Robert Marve to the ground in the final seconds of the first half, ending any threat of a Purdue score.
BEST CALL - Rather than force a throw into traffic, McGloin smartly went out-of-bounds after a 9-yard scramble late in the first half. Michael Zordich went into the end zone a couple of plays later.
WORST CALL - Adrian Amos was whistled for a roughing the passer penalty late in the first quarter after hitting Robert Marve just after he released the ball.
HEADS UP AWARD - Credit James Terry, Kyle Baublitz, Pete Massaro (who saw some time at tackle) and the rest of Penn State's defense for staying solid after Jordan Hill had to leave the game with what Penn State said was a knee sprain.
MOST TELLING STATISTIC - 4.2 yards per play
Purdue wanted to move the ball a few yards at a time and stretch the field with short passes, but the Nittany Lions did a tremendous job of limiting yards after the catch, keeping Purdue from beating them down the field and bottling up the rushing attack. Most of the Boilermakers' 87 yards rushing came on a big early run by Akeem Shavers. Once Penn State's defense settled down, Purdue could get essentially nothing going.
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