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Penn State Football: Blue Beats White 17-7 In Annual Scrimmage

by on April 18, 2015 7:10 PM

It wasn't always pretty to watch, but that didn't matter to a crowd of 68,000 in a sunny Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Blue squad beat the White team 17-7.

As most scrimmages are prone to be, it was a fairly vanilla affair on both sides of the ball.

Penn State's first team offense looked functional enough narrowly avoiding an opening drive three-and-out thanks to a hands to the face penalty. Conversely the Nittany Lion defense looked as expected, rarely challenged.

The scrimmage formally became a competitive affair as Akeel Lynch burst through the second level for a 22-yard touchdown run to open the scoring with 11:41 to go in the opening quarter. Lynch took the ball up the middle, following his blocks and breaking one final tackle before picking up six points.

Some two minutes later Chris Gulla knocked home a 25-yard field goal to make it 10-0. The first team offense was effective at times, but suffered from the occasional miscue along the offensive front as left tackle Paris Palmer adjusted to his new surroundings. Hackenberg's 17-of-29 outing was equal parts quick throws and a few flashes of his likely first round status.

It was a 51-yard run by Nick Scott in the third quarter though that stole the show. In a play that was seemingly dead in the water, Scott somehow turned it into a replay worth watching. In the arms of future NFL draft choice Anthony Zettel, Scott spun out of Zettel's grasp and burst though the secondary for the score, bouncing off a few late tackle attempts inside the five. The White was trailing by only three with the clock still winding late in the third quarter.

In response Hackenberg engineered an impressive 8-play, 75 yard drive to answer, hitting Saeed Blacknall on a 41-yard strike and again on a 1-yard pass and score to put the blue squad up by the game's final score. With a running clock and with second and third team players in the game, it didn't take very long.

The game ultimately was neither a train wreck nor the sign of national title hopes only months away. Penn State's defense looked like the best unit on field and Penn State's offense showed signs of both its strengths and its potential weaknesses. With backup quarterback Trace McSorely sidelined for unspecified reasons, the games only real marquee appearance was limited to a pregame kicking contest that Joey Julius won by booting two kicks from 55-yards well through the uprights.

If nothing else the Nittany Lions exited Saturday without any major bumps and bruises -- maybe the biggest victory of all. 

 

 

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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