staff, November 3, 2012

Penn State's secondary stifled the passing game, allowing just 31 yards through the air to Purdue in the first quarter and the Nittany Lions lead 10-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Boilermakers took the game's first lead after Sam McCartney made a 20-yard field goal on the last play of a seven-play, 49-yard drive.

Purdue's drive was keyed by Akeem Shavers' 37-yard run. The Boilermakers had to settle for a field goal after failing to reach the endzone from Penn State's three-yard line.

The Nittany Lions got even after Sam Ficken kicked a 27-yard field goal to end an eight-play, 47-yard drive that tied the score at three.

Michael Zordich ran six yards to paydirt to break the 3-3 tie in favor of Penn State. The play put a bow on a two-play, 48-yard scoring drive. The key play on the Nittany Lions' drive was Matt McGloin's 42-yard pass to Brandon Moseby-Felder. Penn State began the drive with good field position after Evan Lewis returned a punt.

The Nittany Lions have possession on their own 10-yard line to start the second quarter.


Read more from's Tom Dienhart on this game:

Player on the spot: Purdue quarterback Robert Marve. Danny Hope is jettisoning Caleb TerBush and inserting Marve in hopes of sparking a struggling attack, as the 3-5 Boilermakers? bowl hopes are waning. Purdue is riding an ugly four-game losing skid and needs to start winning right now. The Boilers have lost three of those four games by 71 points and blew a lead and lost in overtime at Ohio State. Marve-he of three knee injuries-has made one start this year and injects a playmaking element into an offense that needs a boost. But with potential reward comes the risk of a mistake, which Marve is prone to make.

Key matchup: Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin vs. the Purdue secondary. McGloin has more passing yards (2,115) than any Big Ten quarterback as well as a league-high 16 touchdown tosses. The Boiler defensive backfield was torched last week by a true freshman quarterback at Minnesota, allowing 246 yards on just 15 completions (16.4 ypc) and three touchdown passes. If McGloin is slinging darts, Purdue will be in trouble.

Key number: 66, points in the first quarter that Penn State has scored. Its foes have scored zero points in the first 15 minutes. Penn State is the only team in the FBS ranks that has not yielded a first-quarter point in 2012.

Key note: Purdue has scored on its first possession in each of the last three games only to be outscored 111-44 the rest of the way in losing each contest.

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