November 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM
LINCOLN, Neb.--Zach Zwinak had a huge day marred by one crucial mistake.
On a 1st-and-10 play after Penn State had driven 62 yards to Nebraska's 13-yard line, Zwinak took a big hit and fumbled. The Cornhuskers' Will Compton pounced on the ball for the recovery and a promising drive for the Nittany Lions was snuffed.
The missed opportunity, coupled with a controversial fumble ruling against Matt Lehman in the fourth quarter, loomed large as Penn State fell, 32-23 against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium.
"I just know that it was unacceptable that I lost it," Zwinak said after the game.
The cough-up was a black mark on an otherwise spectacular day for the sophomore running back. Zwinak put Penn State up 7-0 with a 50-yard run on the Lions' first offensive drive of the game.
"I had to cut back a little bit and I just ran," Zwinak said of the big run. "It's exciting because it's you and the endzone and you've got to try and outrun the people. It's also nervous you don't want to get caught from behind."
Zwinak kept piling up the yards all afternoon, too, finishing with a career-high 141 yards on 21 carries, good for a 6.7 yards per carry average. He was forced from the game in the first half with cramps, but returned to key the running attack in the second half. Zwinak was quick to give credit for his performance to his blockers.
"The line blocked great today, opened up some holes," Zwinak said. "It took us a little bit, I think, to get going. But later, talking, them telling me what they saw helped out a lot."