The Football Letter/Steve Manuel
UNIVERSITY PARK — In a brand new series with the The Football Letter blog, we will take a quick look back at the previous Penn State football game before turning the page with a look ahead to the Nittany Lions’ next opponent.
In this week’s edition, we recap the dominant 79-7 win over Idaho in the season opener and then offer fans a short glimpse of what they can expect from Week 2 opponent Buffalo.
Star Of The Game: RB Devyn Ford
KJ Hamler could have easily been the choice here, accumulating 115 yards on just four catches, two of which went for touchdowns. Penn State fans should be really excited about the connection between Hamler and his new quarterback, Sean Clifford. My pick for the star of the Idaho game, though, is freshman tailback Devyn Ford. Ford wowed the Beaver Stadium crowd with an 81-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter, when he split a crease on the right side of Penn State’s offensive line turned up field and raced his way to the end zone in a flash. He finished the day with 107 yards on six carries. Not bad for a true freshman making his first in-game appearance at the college level.
Moment of Magic: Walk-on Nick Eury powers his way into the end zone
Fans that turned off the game in its dwindling minutes or left Beaver Stadium early to beat the post-game traffic missed the highlight of the day — at least in this writer’s opinion. Even with Penn State ahead 71-7 with just over two minutes to go, walk-on Nick Eury provided a moment of magic. The Shavertown, Pennsylvania, native took a handoff in the red zone from quarterback Michael Shuster and bulldozed his way through one defender before dragging another two defenders two yards and stretched across the goal line for a touchdown. He was not going to be denied. For a player that works so hard week in and week out, knowing he’s probably not going to see much action as the season progresses, I’m sure it meant a lot for him. It was an example of what makes college football so great.
The Football Letter/Steve Manuel
Buffalo’s 2018 At A Glance
The 2018 campaign proved to be one of the best in team history for the Bulls. Head coach Lance Leipold helped guide Buffalo to a 10-4 finish, breaking the previous program record for wins in a single season (8). The Bulls won the MAC East Division crown but fell to West Division champs Northern Illinois in the conference title game in Detroit 30-29. Buffalo then earned a trip to Mobile, Alabama for the Dollar General Bowl, but fell short there as well, losing 42-32 to Troy.
Running With The Bulls
Like Penn State, Buffalo started its season with a win over an FCS foe, topping Robert Morris 38-10. The Bulls ran their way over the Colonials, gaining 285 yards on the ground. Of the Bulls’ 57 offensive snaps in the game, 47 of them were run plays.
Names To Remember
Buffalo running backs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks picked up where they left off a season ago, which saw the former named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. Patterson finished Saturday’s win with 90 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts. Marks had 13 rushes for 75 yards. While the Bulls used five different backs against the Colonials, Patterson and Marks will surely get the bulk of the carries against Penn State. It will be interesting to see how the duo and the Bulls’ offensive line hold up against that vaunted Nittany Lions front seven.