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Recap: Penn State's first first half after Joe Paterno

September 01, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Penn State running back Bill Belton (1) celebrates with teammates Allen Robinson (8) and Kyle Carter (87) after rushing for the first touchdown of the new season against Ohio on Saturday.
Penn State running back Bill Belton (1) celebrates with teammates Allen… (Gene J. Puskar / Associated…)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State's initial first half post-Joe Paterno went pretty well. The Nittany Lions took a 14-3 lead into the tunnel, twice.

The Nittany Lions jumped the gun (literally) when they started running off the field thnking the half was over. The players had to return because Ohio had called a timeout with three seconds left.

Penn State fans booed.

Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton ran a stat-padding play on fourth down, and then the half was really over.

First-year Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien had to have been fairly pleased. He won't be happy about two fumbles but otherwise his team looked solid.

Senior quarterback Matt McGloin, in particular, might flourish in the offense brought over from the New England Patriots. McGloin is not Tom Brady yet, by any stretch, but he had a very nice half in completing 16 of 26 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

A Penn State quarterback, with 26 first-half passes? Wow, this is a new era.

Penn State finished No. 96 nationally in passing last year.

The Nittany Lions' defense covered the field well against a very good Ohio offense.

Penn State fans seem to be settling into the new era. Several chants of "Bill O'Brien" erupted during the half. The night before the game, a cheerleader outside Beaver Stadium put the finishing touches on a poster that read "B.O.B. The RE-Builder."

Joe Paterno's legacy still hovered. His widow, Sue, was in attendance. There are still many Penn State fans unhappy with the four-year bowl ban the NCAA handed down over the summer.

A plane flew over the stadium before the game trailing the banner "Oust Ericksontrustees"

Rod Erickson is the Penn State president who accepted the NCAA's penalites shortly after the release of the Freeh Report, which concluded several top-level administrators helped cover up the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

ALSO:

A 'new normal' at Penn State without Joe Paterno

Penn State-Ohio crowd includes Joe Paterno's widow

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