Freshman Christian Veilleux came on for an injured Sean Clifford and threw three touchdown passes in Saturday’s 28-0 home win against Rutgers at University Park, Pa.
When Clifford was injured last month against Iowa, Ta’Quan Roberson came on and struggled mightily as the Nittany Lions fell apart and lost to the Hawkeyes, beginning a stretch of four losses in five games. This time around, the call went to Veilleux, who finished 15 of 24 for 235 yards without a turnover in his first collegiate appearance.
On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State (7-4, 4-4 Big Ten) allowed just 165 total yards in its second shutout of the season. It also blanked Indiana 24-0 on Oct. 2 before going 1-4 in the stretch that culminated with last week’s loss to Michigan.
Noah Vedral was 12 of 23 for 91 yards for Rutgers (5-6, 2-6), which has dropped six of eight since opening the season 3-0. In their six defeats, the Scarlet Knights have scored a total of 49 points.
Veilleux came on late in the first quarter after Clifford suffered an undisclosed injury. He guided the Nittany Lions to the first points of the game with 1:03 left in the second quarter, when he found star receiver Jahan Dotson near the right sideline for an 8-yard score.
Penn State took firm control with two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the third quarter.
Veilleux found a well-covered Parker Washington for a 17-yard TD with 3:32 left in the period and then hooked up with Malick Meiga on the ensuing possession for a 67-yard score. Meiga was wide open on an apparent blown coverage for his first career touchdown.
Keyvone Lee’s 7-yard TD run with 7:32 left put an exclamation point on the victory. Lee led the Nittany Lions with 41 yards on 13 carries.
–Field Level Media