28 October 2006

Halftime: Penn State 6, Purdue 0

Penn State opened the game with a concerted effort to establish the running game, and it definitely paid off. The Nittany Lions racked up 103 rushing yards in the first half, with significant contributions from Tony Hunt, Derrick Williams, and both fullbacks Matt Hahn and BranDon Snow.

The offensive line bounced back with a strong first half performance, opening up holes for the running backs and giving Anthony Morelli good pass protection as well (no sacks for the Purdue defense!).

The defense came up with a big stop deep in Nittany Lion territory when linebacker Dan Connor intercepted Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter.

Offensive coordinator Galen Hall made a nice call on a fourth and one at the Purdue 25 yard line, giving the ball to Derrick Williams on a short reverse.

Penn State had a strong advantage in time of possession in the first half (17:35 to 12:25), keeping the ball away from Curtis Painter and the Boilermakers' dangerous passing offense. Unfortunately, a 17 play drive that took over six minutes off the clock produced no points when Kevin Kelly missed a 50 yard field goal attempt.

Struggling for extra yards, Tony Hunt fumbled the football apparently giving Purdue excellent field position at the Penn State 29 yard line, but the replay booth overturned the "fumble" and gave the ball back to the Nittany Lions. Penn State was unable to covert the resulting third and two, but a 52 yard punt by Jeremy Kapinos turned field position around for the Boilermakers.

Purdue's only scoring chance of the first half was on the following drive, but Purdue missed a 37 yard field goal into a stiff wind.

The teams traded possessions late in the second quarter before Penn State moved the ball into scoring position and Kelly kicked a 45 yard field goal to end the half and give the Nittany Lions the 6-0 lead.
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