McSorley’s 5 touchdowns lead Penn State’s rout of Kent State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State coach James Franklin has some advice for young quarterbacks looking for study tips.
Watch Trace McSorley.
One of the most decorated quarterbacks in program history, McSorley accounted for five touchdowns in No. 11 Penn State’s 63-10 rout of Kent State on Saturday.
The senior became the Nittany Lions’ career leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and just the second Penn State quarterback to rush for 1,000 career yards.
The Heisman Trophy hopeful completed 11 of 22 passes for 229 yards with an interception and ran for three touchdowns for the Nittany Lions (3-0), who led 28-10 at halftime. McSorley surpassed Daryll Clark’s 22 rushing scores and leads the program with 24. He also joined Michael Robinson as a 1,000-yard rusher with an 18-yard run in the first quarter.
“That’s all he does is win,” Franklin said. “And it’s because of all those things that he doesn’t get enough credit for. It’s how he supports the guys. It’s how he is when they make mistakes. It’s how he is when they make big plays.”
There were plenty of both against the Golden Flashes (1-2), who allowed 643 total yards and crossed midfield just twice after scoring on their first possession.
DeAndre Thompkins caught four passes for 101 yards and hauled in 40-yard touchdown pass from McSorley to begin the rout. Miles Sanders rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries while McSorley scored on runs of 1, 2 and 13 yards. McSorley threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Polk with 2:37 to play in the third quarter before yielding his spot to backup Sean Clifford.
Mark Allen, Ricky Slade and Johnathan Thomas added rushing touchdowns for the Nittany Lions and Daniel George caught a late touchdown pass from Clifford.
But with Big Ten play looming, a handful of miscues jumped out to Franklin.
While Penn State didn’t lose a fumble, backs put the ball on the ground twice and wideouts again dropped a handful of passes. Three touchdowns were negated by penalties of which the Nittany Lions committed nine overall for 109 yards.
“That’s something that’s plagued us the last two weeks, penalties taking back big plays,” McSorley said. “But in the moment, if it’s a hold or something up front, it’s just talking to that guy, being like, ‘Hey, move on the the next one’ making sure they’re not letting it affect them too much.”
Woody Barrett completed 20 of 38 passes with 176 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Mike Carrigan for the Golden Flashes. Matthew Trickett added a field goal.
Kent State: The Golden Flashes hung around for a bit in the first half, but they struggled to protect Barrett and couldn’t cover Penn State’s speedy receivers. Overall, Kent State allowed seven sacks and committed 10 penalties for 83 yards, not a recipe for winning.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions got to rest most of their starters early enough with a short week and Friday night road trip to Illinois looming. The schedule has forced Franklin to cancel his team’s planned off day on Monday in order to prepare, so the extra rest in the second half should help. Franklin will need to find a way to clean up a host of mistakes with one less day.
OFF THE MAT
Penn State defensive end Shareef Miller appeared to suffer an injury in the second quarter when his head bounced off the ground as he dove to make a stop behind the line. He returned in the second half to post two sacks and finished with three tackles for loss.
Clifford made history of his own.
His 95-yard touchdown pass to George is the longest play from scrimmage in program history and the longest since former Penn State coach Bob Higgins caught a 92-yard touchdown pass in 1919.
An explosive offensive showcase should keep Penn State about where it is.
Kent State visits Ole Miss on Saturday.
Penn State travels to Illinois on Friday.