Oct. 1, 2005
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Derrick Williams and Tony Hunt each rushed for two touchdowns while Penn State's stifling defense held Laurence Maroney to a season-low 48 yards rushing in a 44-14 win over No. 18 Minnesota on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) beat the run-first Gophers (4-1, 1-1) at their own game, building a big lead by rushing over a porous Minnesota defense.
Williams got his two scores in the first half and set up one of Hunt's two second-half scoring runs with a 10-yard rush deep in Gopher territory.
Penn State stacked eight men in the box at times in the first half, when Maroney was often limited to short gains and held to 14 yards.
The Nittany Lions notched their first win over a ranked team since beating Wisconsin in 2002, and now appear to be contenders in the Big Ten for the first time in a while.
Against Minnesota, they scored on their first drive and never looked back.
Williams scored on a 13-yard run up the middle after lining up at running back and getting a pitch from quarterback Michael Robinson to give Penn State a 7-0 lead. He also scored from 5 yards on an end-around to give Penn State a 17-0 lead after lineman Charles Rush threw a nice block to seal the edge.
Williams was mobbed in the end zone by teammates, then pumped his arms as he jogged back to the sidelines and was greeted with high-fives.
Williams, a freshman who was one of coach Joe Paterno's prized offseason recruits, plays mainly receiver but has been used in the backfield, too, in Penn State's new-look offense.
Hunt finished with 114 yards rushing on 21 carries and two second-half scores while Robinson ran for 112 yards on 18 carries. Williams ran for 40 yards on six carries and caught four balls for 32 yards.
Minnesota had several three-and-outs in the first half, with Penn State's front seven often holding Maroney to short gains. Maroney's 48 yards came on 16 rushes.
The Gophers' scores came on a 48-yard touchdown catch by Ernie Wheelwright had and a 2-yard score off an end-around by Jakari Wallace.
One of Minnesota's best drives early was thwarted on a trick play. Quarterback Bryan Cupito hit Wheelwright for a 14-yard gain in a drive that moved the Gophers to the Penn State 32.
But two plays later, Maroney took a handoff and then attempted to give it to Wallace on a reverse, but the ball was fumbled and recovered by Penn State.