UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 14/15 Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium on Saturday to host Central Michigan. Kickoff is scheduled for noon on Big Ten Network. Penn State’s 2022 football season is presented by PSECU.
SERIES HISTORY: Penn State meets Central Michigan for the second time in program history. The Nittany Lions scored a 40-3 win over the Chippewas on September 17, 2005. Michael Robinson threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another, while Deon Butler had five catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns. The Nittany Lions held Central Michigan to 14 yards rushing.
B1G PROFIT: With its win over Auburn, Penn State became the first Big Ten school to win a home-and-home series against an SEC opponent since 2012 when Northwestern defeated Vanderbilt in 2010 and 2012. The Nittany Lions’ 29-point win is the Big Ten’s second-biggest win in an away game against an SEC opponent, behind only Purdue’s 35-3 win in Missouri in 2017, which was also the last Big Ten away win against an SEC opponent. team was. The 29-point win marked the sixth time (third in the regular season) that a Big Ten team had defeated an SEC team by 29 points or more, and only the second time in an away game.
Rushing Attack: The Nittany Lions rushed for five touchdowns in Auburn. Penn State’s five rushing touchdowns were the most since the Cotton Bowl vs. Memphis of 2019. Early in the game, Auburn had conceded just one rushing touchdown in their last seven games. newcomers Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen each scored two touchdowns. Singleton had carries of 54 (TD) and 53 yards and Devyn Ford added a 30-yard rush.
FORCED TAKES: Penn State forced four takeaways against Auburn. The Nittany Lions recovered two fumbles and had two interceptions. in the third quarter, Ji’Ayir Brown forced a fumble and recorded an interception. Zakee Wheatley picked up his first career choice while Hack Robinson and Jonathan Sutherland Everyone recovered a fumble. Robinson and Abdel Carter each forced a fumble.
THE OPPOSITION: Central Michigan is 1-2 this season and comes with a 41-0 win over Bucknell. The Chippewas gained a total of 529 yards, including 287 on the ground, against the Bison. On defense, CMU recorded 13 tackles for the loss. Lew Nichols rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, while Daniel Richardson threw for 198 yards and two points.
- 1982: Penn State will honor its 1982 National Championship team.
- 334: Nicholas Singletons 334 rushing yards is Penn State’s most in the first three games of a season since Larry Johnson’s 362 in 2002.
- 11: Penn State recorded 11 tackles for losses in Auburn, including six sacks.
- 5: The Nittany Lions scored five rushing touchdowns in Auburn. Early in the game, the Tigers had allowed a rushing TD in their last seven games.
EXPLORING THE CHIPPEWAS
- Jim McElwain is in his fourth season at Central Michigan, including a 21-15 record. McElwain led Central Michigan to record wins in 2019 (8-6) and 2021 (9-4).
- The Chippewas played in the 2019 MAC Championship Game, 2019 New Mexico Bowl, and 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
- Before his Central Michigan takeover, McElwain was a receiver coach in Michigan in 2018.
- McElwain was Florida head coach from 2015-17 and amassed a 22-12 record, two SEC East titles and two SEC Championship Game appearances.
- Before Florida, McElwain was Colorado State head coach from 2012-14 and led the Rams to a 10-3 record in 2014.
- Central Michigan is 1-2 this season. The Chippewas picked up a 41-0 win over Bucknell last Saturday.
- Central Michigan gained a total of 529 yards, including 287 on the ground, against the Bison. On defense, CMU recorded 13 tackles for the loss.
- RB Lew Nichols rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, while QB Daniel Richardson threw for 198 yards and two points.
- Central Michigan ranks 19th in passing offense (311.0) on the FBS and leads the MAC in total offense (476.3).
- Richardson leads the MAC with 879 passing yards and 293.0 passing yards per game.
- Nichols averages 88.0 rushing yards per game and ranks seventh on the FBS with five touchdowns.
- The Chippewas rank 17th nationally with an average of 8.3 tackles lost per game. CMU leads MAC in red zone defense (71.4%) and third down defense (27.3%).
- DL Thomas Incoom and DL Michael Heldman lead the team with 4.5 tackles for loss while Incoom leads the team with 3.0 sacks.
- Central Michigan leads the MAC in net punting (41.0).
- P Luke Elzinga averages 45.3 yards per punt.
NITTANY LIONS VS. THE MAC
- Penn State has a long history of competing against Mid-American Conference teams.
- The Nittany Lions hold an all-time record 10-2 against MAC opponents.
- Prior to an all-Big Ten schedule in 2020, Penn State had played a MAC opponent in 18 straight seasons.
- The Nittany Lions beat Ohio 46-10 on September 10th.
- Ohio is Penn State’s most played MAC opponent with Akron with six matchups each.
- The Nittany Lions have played five times each against Kent State and Temple during their affiliation with the MAC.
- Penn State meets Central Michigan for the second time in program history. The Nittany Lions defeated the Chippewas 40-3 in 2005.
1982 TEAM RECOGNITION
- Penn State will honor its 1982 National Championship team on Saturday.
- The Nittany Lions defeated Georgia 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl to win their first national championship.
- In the Sugar Bowl, Todd Blackledge threw for 228 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to Gregg Garrity.
- Curt Warner rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, passing Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.
- Linebacker Scott Radecic led Penn State with 14 tackles while safety Mark Robinson had nine tackles and two interceptions.
- After a midseason loss to Alabama, Penn State ended the season with seven straight wins.
- Blackledge received the Davey O’Brien Award for 2,218 yards and 22 touchdowns.
- Robinson and Warner joined wide receiver Kenny Jackson and defensive end Walker Lee Ashley as first-team All-Americans.
- Warner rushed for 1,041 yards and eight touchdowns.
- Michael Zordich, who returned to Beaver Stadium as Central Michigan’s defensive backs coach, was a member of the 1982 team.
- Penn State drew 3-1 all-time against Auburn.
- The Nittany Lions are 25-24 all-time against current members of the SEC.
- Penn State is 12-16 in regular season matchups against SEC opponents.
- Penn State became the first Big Ten school to swept a home-and-home series against an SEC opponent since 2012 when Northwestern defeated Vanderbilt in 2010 and 2012.
- The Nittany Lions’ 29-point win is the Big Ten’s second-biggest win in an away game against an SEC opponent, only behind Purdue’s 35-3 win in Missouri in 2017, which was also the Big Ten’s last away win against one SEC team.
- The 29-point win marks the sixth time (the third time in the regular season) that a Big Ten team has beaten an SEC team by 29 points or more, and only the second time in an away game.
- Penn State owns two of those six wins, and both wins were against Auburn, the other in the 1996 Outback Bowl, a 43-14 win.
- Auburn’s 29-point loss was the first home loss by more than 29 points since 2012 (38-0 loss to Georgia).
- It marked Auburn’s largest non-conference home game loss since 1982 (41–7 loss to Nebraska).
- Auburn’s 41 points allowed is the most for a non-conference opponent at home since 2001 (41 against Louisiana Tech in a 48-41 overtime win).
- The Nittany Lions scored in five rushing touchdowns, the first time since the 2019 Cotton Bowl vs. Memphis with five rushing touchdowns.
- Before the Penn State game, Auburn had only allowed one rushing touchdown in his last seven contests.
- The Nittany Lions had two freshmen running backs (Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton) each score two touchdowns. Since at least 2000, they’ve been the only Penn State freshmen to both have two rushing touchdowns in a game.
- The Nittany Lions forced two fumbles and two interceptions. Penn State had four takeaways in a game for the first time since the Michigan State game in 2019.
- Penn State recorded 11 tackles for loss and six sacks. Penn State had 11 losing tackles in a game for the first time since the Iowa game in 2021.
- The Nittany Lions had six sacks in a game for the first time since the 2019 Cotton Bowl vs. Memphis.