kaytron cmu

Special teams flipped Penn State’s Week 4 matchup against Central Michigan on its head, as the Chippewas muffed a punt off the foot of punter Barney Amor, which gave the Nittany Lions the momentum they needed to finish things off.

No. 14 Penn State took down Central Michigan 33-14, but only held a 21-14 lead over the unranked Chippewas. Followed by a stagnant first drive out of the half by the Nittany Lions, the Chippewas had a chance to tie the game.

All they had to do was catch a punt.

Central Michigan’s Jordyn Williams dropped the punt, which was recovered by Curtis Jacobs and subsequently set up the Penn State offense in the red zone. Amor’s efforts weren’t wasted, as quarterback Sean Clifford hit tight end Brenton Strange for his second receiving touchdown of the day to extend the lead to 27-14.

Penn State started off strong and swiftly took a 14-0 lead with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter. Mitchell Tinsley corralled his third touchdown of the season on a 5-yard pass to open the scoring with 8:42 remaining in the opening quarter.

Thanks to a Zakee Wheatley interception on the succeeding Central Michigan drive, Strange punched in his first touchdown of the game on a 4-yard pass just over two minutes later.

The Chippewas wouldn’t go away, though.

Central Michigan pieced together two consecutive touchdown drives in the second quarter to tie the game up at 14-14. The first of which, a 2-yard, one-handed grab by wide receiver Finn Hogan, was a fourth-down conversion. On the following drive, the Chippewas took over after a Penn State turnover on downs. Sixty-seven yards later, Joel Wilson scored on a 14-yard catch.

Kaytron Allen, one-half of the Nittany Lions’ true freshman running back duo, wasn’t satisfied. Allen was responsible for 33 of the 34 yards on Penn State’s third touchdown drive of the game, capping it off with a 14-yard scamper to the end zone.

After Central Michigan’s muffed punt debacle, the Chippewas followed it up with a three-and-out deep in their own territory thanks to an Amor punt that pinned them at their own 6-yard line.

The sixth-year punter that originally started his collegiate career punting at Colgate has been an extremely consistent force on special teams. Amor punted four times in Penn State’s affair with Central Michigan with three of them landing inside the 10-yard line.

While Nicholas Singleton has garnered most of the in-season hype, his classmate Allen was the more productive running back in Week 4, totalling 111 yards on the day. A 37-yard run by Allen eventually set up a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Clifford early in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions in cruise control up 33-14.

Central Michigan had the turnover bug all day. After interceptions by Wheatley and cornerback Johnny Dixon, a Kalen King forced fumble and recovery with 9:12 left in the game all but ended the Chippewas’ upset hopes.

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