Game Preview: Penn State vs. Kent State

Story posted September 12, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Tom Johnston

No. 11 Penn State will get set for its final non-conference game of the 2018 season when the Nittany Lions welcome the Kent State Golden Flashes to Beaver Stadium this coming Saturday for a noon kickoff.

Last weekend, Penn State defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 51-6 at Heinz Field after a dominant second half. By the end of the game the stadium was quite empty besides the Penn State fans that made the trip.

Penn State's offense and defense showed up for the game. Trace McSorley had himself a game throwing two touchdown passes and overall completed 14 of his 30 attempted passes for 145 yards. Additionally, he rushed for a touchdown and tallied 44 yards on the ground. Furthermore, redshirt-freshman Sean Clifford threw a 34-yard touchdown pass on his only attempt.

Miles Sanders had himself a game on the ground, rushing for 133 yards on 16 carries. Likewise, Brandon Polk, KJ Hamler and Mac Hippenhammer each caught a touchdown for a score.

Further, Penn State's defense also had a better outing than against Appalachian State in week one. Kevin Givens' return to the lineup made a huge difference after being suspended for the season opener. Givens along with freshman linebacker Micah Parsons led the defense with seven tackles each. Both players had five solo and two assists. Additionally, Givens had two tackles for loss.

Last weekend, Kent State Golden Flashes knocked off the Howard Bison 54-14. Starting quarterback Woody Barrett completed 13 of his 27 passes for 156 yards along with one interception and one touchdown. The Golden Flashes come into this weekend’s contest with a 1-1 record thus far.

As far as rushing went for Kent State, Justin Rankin had 149 yards on 12 carries along with a touchdown. Additionally, Jo-el Shaw had 113 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns. Receiving wise Isaiah McKoy had four receptions for 74 yards with one touchdown. Raekwon James had three receptions for 34 yards.

Defensively, Matt Bahr had eleven tackles to lead the way and forced a fumble for the Golden Flashes. Overall, Penn State and Kent State have met five times since in the period between 1965-2016. Penn State currently owns all five victories and their biggest victory was back in 2013 when the Nittany Lions won 34-0.

Every game in this series has been played at Penn State. The last time these two teams squared off was September 3, 2016, when Penn State defeated Kent State 33-13.

Besides the 34-0 shutout in 2013, Penn State shutout Kent State back on September 18, 2010. The final score of that game was 24-0. No. 11 Penn State versus Kent State is set for a noon kickoff this Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The game will be televised on Fox Sports One (FS1).


Tom Johnston is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email