Penn State ends season with rout over Michigan State

Penn State exploded for 35 points during a 17-minute span to spark the Nittany Lions’ 42-14 win over Michigan State in the annual battle for the Land Grant Tropy.

The victory moved Penn State to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions earned their 21st season with at least 10 wins under Joe Paterno, who is the FBS all-time leader in 10-win seasons. Penn State recorded back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 1993 (10-2) and 1994 (12-0).

Penn State improved to 50-13 (79.3) since the start of the 2005 season, the nation’s No. 8 winning percentage over that span. The Nittany Lions pushed their lead in the series to 14-12-1, including a 13-4 mark in Big Ten action.

The Nittany Lions recorded their second 4-0 Big Ten road record in Big Ten play, with the other time coming during Penn State’s 12-0 campaign in1994. Penn State improved to 8-1 on the road the last two years.

As is typically the case when they meet in the regular season finale, the Nittany Lions and Spartans lit up the scoreboard. The teams have combined to score 1,060 points in their 17 conference games, an average of 62.3 points per game. Penn State has scored 608 points (35.7 avg.) and Michigan State has scored 452 points (26.6 avg.).

Penn State did not have any turnovers for the fourth time in the last six games and grabbed two interceptions. The Nittany Lions had 512 yards of total offense, their fourth game of 500 or more yards this season.

Senior quarterback Daryll Clark broke a scoreless tie by throwing a 29-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless with 2:10 left in the first half to begin a burst that would see Penn State score 28 points in the third quarter to take control. Clark was selected Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the third time of the season (most in the conference) and fifth time in his brilliant career.

Selected the first team all-conference signal-caller for the second consecutive year, Clark was sensational in his final regular season game, improving to 21-4 as the starter. He was 19 of 27 for 310 yards, the third-highest total of his career, with a career-high tying four touchdown passes and no interceptions. He tossed scoring strikes of 29, 30, 32 and 27 yards, boosting Penn State to eight plays of 20 yards or more from scrimmage.

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