PSU's Blue & White game
OFFENSIVE MVP: Junior quarterback Anthony Morelli of the Blue was every bit as good as advertised, whipping throws all about the field (13 of 16 for 191 yards) and leading the hurry-up to perfection on a touchdown drive just before the half.
DEFENSIVE MVP: White linebacker Tyrell Sales had nine tackles. More on him later. Redshirt freshman corner Knowledge Timmons had two interceptions.
BEST PASS: Morelli showed his arm strength on an early 41-yard bullet to Jordan Norwood.
BEST CATCH: Norwood went high to haul in a 31-yarder from Morelli on State's second possession. Great throw and great catch. The sophomore wideout finished with eight catches for 191 yards.
BEST RUN: Any concerns about Derrick Williams losing speed after sitting out the second half of last season with a broken arm were put to rest early in this one. Playing for the Blue, he flashed through the line for a 17-yard gain.
BEST HUSTLE: White LB Jerome Hayes moved quickly to shut down the corner, leading to a tackle for loss on Tony Hunt on fourth and goal from the 3.
BEST HIT(S): Sales stood up fullback BranDon Snow at the goal line on third and goal from the 1. Morelli lost a fumble on a QB sneak attempt on the next play. Who delivered that hit? Sales.
BEST KICK: Kevin Kelly drilled a 39-yard field goal. A jokester in the press box, harkening back to Kelly's Orange Bowl dramatics, cracked, ?That's two in a row.?
WORST KICK: Matt Waldron flubbed a knuckler from 41 yards that sent photographers scrambling for cover.
HEADS-UP: Timmons had the play read perfectly all the way on his second-quarter interception of Mike Hart.
HEADS-OFF: Blue safety Darien Hardy nearly decapitated redshirt frosh receiver James McDonald on a second-quarter, across-the-middle pass.
BEST RECOVERY: Blue CB Tony Davis appeared to be beaten by Deon Butler on a Kevin Suhey bomb in the third quarter. But Davis closed quickly and batted the ball away.
BEST REBOUND: Backup QB Paul Cianciolo bounced back from a poor first half to lead an efficient 80-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. He capped it with an over-the-middle pass to TE Jordan Lyons just behind White LB Joe Cianciolo (Paul's brother).
BEST MOVE: The coaching staff giving star wideout Derrick Williams a couple of plays at QB late in the third quarter. Williams, an option QB in high school, threw on both plays, connecting with Norwood and missing a bomb to Butler. Nice to add an element of fun to this game.
NEXT UP: Akron comes calling in the 2006 season opener at Beaver Stadium Sept. 2.
DID YOU NOTICE
? The crowd was listed at a modest 18,000? May have been because there was rain on game day for the fifth time in the last six years, and the telecast was available pretty much statewide on TV.
? The surprisingly large number (considering the weather) of former Lions on the sideline? They ranged from recent players like Michael Robinson, Tamba Hali and Alan Zemaitis to past stars like Larry Johnson, Brandon Short, Ki-Jana Carter, Bobby Engram, O.J. McDuffie and Todd Blackledge.
? The spring award winners were TB Rodney Kinlaw (Worrell/offense), LB Dontey Brown (O'Hora/defense) and C Patrick Weber (Patrick/junior leader)?
? LB Paul Posluszny and OT Levi Brown were named team captains? Neither veteran dressed for the game. The Lions may also have individual game captains this year.
? That veteran defensive tackle Jay Alford and linebacker Tim Shaw both had the afternoon off as well?
? That incoming quarterbacks Brett Brackett and Pat Devlin watched much of the game together?
? That a large number of recruits were on hand for the game, including Pennsylvania stars Josh Marks and Stefen Wisniewski. Stayed tuned to FOS for more on this.