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Penn State overcomes slow start to rout Buffalo

Sep 15, 2007 - 9:29 PM STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Penn State got a late wake-up call but still rolled over Buffalo.

Anthony Morelli threw two of his career-high four touchdown passes late in the second quarter Saturday as the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions overcame a slow start to post a 45-24 victory over the Bulls.

Coming off an emotional win over Notre Dame, Penn State (3-0) may have been caught looking ahead to next week's Big Ten Conference opener against Michigan.

On their first four possessions, the Nittany Lions fumbled twice and punted twice, but Buffalo (1-2) could only manage A.J. Principe's 19-yard field goal with 6:37 left in the first period.

"I don't think we did start sluggish," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "I thought they were very aggressive and we had to settle down. I thought there were a couple passes that were just a little bit off."

Penn State's reserves yielded three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but they came after the Nittany Lions had scored 31 straight points to build a 31-3 cushion.

"They (Bulls) came out and played hard in the first half and created turnovers," Buffalo coach Turner Gill said. "That was huge. It was unfortunate for us offensively that we were not able to capitalize."

In the first 11 quarters of the season, Penn State allowed only two field goals and an interception return for a touchdown.

After being held scoreless for more than 23 minutes, Penn State tied the contest on Kevin Kelly's 27-yard field goal with 6:29 left in the first half.

"We weren't as sharp, maybe, as you'd like to be," Paterno added. "But you have to give the other guy a little bit of credit."

Penn State took control by scoring two touchdowns in a 95-second span before halftime.

Morelli capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive with a 21-yard TD strike to tight end Andrew Quarless, who sat out Penn State's first two games for disciplinary reasons.

"He's a good kid," Paterno said of Quarless. "He made a mistake and paid for it with a couple games. I think he's obviously a talented kid."

On the ensuing possession, Penn State's defense forced a turnover as safety Tony Davis jarred the ball loose with a bruising hit on Bulls receiver Brett Hamlin after a four-yard gain.

The ball popped into the hands of fellow safety Anthony Scirrotto at the Buffalo 18.

The Nittany Lions needed only four plays to take a 17-3 advantage on Morelli's five-yard TD pass to Jordan Norwood with 59 seconds left in the half.

Gerry McGroarty returned the second half kickoff 51 yards, setting up Morelli's 27-yard TD toss to Terrell Golden.

Morelli and Quarless hooked up again for a four-yard score that made it 31-3 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

Morelli, who finished 20-of-27 for 202 yards, threw his four TDs in a span of 12 minutes.

The Nittany Lions featured a balanced attack - rushing for 191 yards - led by Rodney Kinlaw, who surpassed the century mark for the first time in his career with 129 yards and a TD on 23 carries.

Buffalo's Drew Willy completed 28-of-39 passes for 330 yards, but most of it was in the second half after the contest was decided.

"That kid (Willy) is a heck of a player," Paterno said. "He's a real gutsy kid and those receivers - I don't know how many deep ones they hit on us."

The Bulls rushed for 56 yards after the Nittany Lions held their first two opponents to a combined minus-three yards on the ground.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 0 0 21 24
    PENN ST (12) 0 17 14 14 45 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUFFALO - FG, A.J. PRINCIPE 19 YD, 8:23.
    BUFFALO 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 27 YD, 8:31.
    BUFFALO 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS 21 YD PASS
    FROM ANTHONY MORELLI (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 12:26.

    Sep 15 3:19 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD BUFFALO
    LARON HAYMORE 2 YD PASS FROM DREW WILLY
    (A.J. PRINCIPE KICK)
    BUFFALO 24
    PENN ST (12) 45 0:12 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 3:18 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    AUSTIN SCOTT 40 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 17
    PENN ST (12) 45 4:02 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 3:08 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD BUFFALO
    ERNEST JACKSON 9 YD PASS FROM MARIO HENRY
    (A.J. PRINCIPE KICK)
    BUFFALO 17
    PENN ST (12) 38 6:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 3:01 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    RODNEY KINLAW 6 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 10
    PENN ST (12) 38 8:07 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 2:51 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD BUFFALO
    JAMES STARKS 5 YD RUN
    (A.J. PRINCIPE KICK)
    BUFFALO 10
    PENN ST (12) 31 11:55 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 2:43 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 0 0 3
    PENN ST (12) 0 17 14 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUFFALO - FG, A.J. PRINCIPE 19 YD, 8:23.
    BUFFALO 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 27 YD, 8:31.
    BUFFALO 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS 21 YD PASS
    FROM ANTHONY MORELLI (KEVIN
    KEL

    Sep 15 2:35 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    ANDREW QUARLESS 4 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 31 5:24 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 2:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    TERRELL GOLDEN 27 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 24 12:39 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 2:03 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 0 3
    PENN ST (12) 0 17 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUFFALO - FG, A.J. PRINCIPE 19 YD, 8:23.
    BUFFALO 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 27 YD, 8:31.
    BUFFALO 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS 21 YD PASS
    FROM ANTHONY MORELLI (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK)

    Sep 15 1:34 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    JORDAN NORWOOD 5 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 17 0:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 1:29 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    ANDREW QUARLESS 21 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 10 2:34 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 1:18 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG PENN ST
    KEVIN KELLY 27 YD
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 3 6:29 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 12:57 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 3 3
    PENN ST (12) 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BUFFALO - FG, A.J. PRINCIPE 19 YD, 8:23.
    BUFFALO 3-0

    Sep 15 12:44 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG BUFFALO
    A.J. PRINCIPE 19 YD
    BUFFALO 3
    PENN ST (12) 0 6:37 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buffalo vs. Penn State(12)Sep 15 12:30 PM