UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (Sports Network) - Rob Bolden completed 17-of-27 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another score, as 22nd-ranked Penn State defeated Kent State, 24-0, at Beaver Stadium.
Evan Royster rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown and Devon Smith pulled in a 48-yard touchdown reception for Penn State (2-1), which was able to recover after being handled by top-ranked Alabama, 24-3, last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Derek Moye chipped in with four receptions for 87 yards in the victory.
Spencer Keith threw for 170 yards and two interceptions on 20-of-36 attempts for Kent State (1-2), which suffered its second straight loss. The Golden Flashes dropped a 26-13 loss to Boston College last weekend.
Penn State struck first thanks in part to an interception by D'Anton Lynn on the Golden Flashes' first offensive set. After the pick put the Lions on the KSU 45, Bolden completed a seven-yard pass to Moye, then three runs and a catch by Royster advanced the ball to the 14. Following a Lions' third-down conversion coupled with a roughing-the-passer call that moved it to the three, Bolden banged in on 3rd-and-goal from the one.
It quickly became a 14-0 game as the Flashes were forced to punt and Penn State took over on its own 30. Bolden aired it out and hit Moye for 55 yards to the Kent State 15. After another Lions' first down, Royster capped the set with a three-yard run with a shade over four minutes left in the opening quarter.
Neither team could get anything going offensively in the second stanza, and Derrick Thomas' interception of Keith at the PSU six in the waning moments of the half preserved the 14-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Penn State started the second half with back-to-back turnovers, via a fumble and a Bolden interception, but a missed field goal and punt kept the Flashes off the board.
The Nittany Lions made it a three-possession game when Collin Wagner drilled a 27-yard field goal, which capped a time-consuming 17-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:49 off the game clock. The hosts took a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Wagner's 43-yard effort drifted wide left early in the fourth, but again Kent State was unable to capitalize. Penn State then turned a block punt into another score when Bolden hit a wide-open Smith for a 48-yard touchdown with nearly 8 1/2 minutes to play.
Kent State never threatened the outcome in the closing minutes.