STATE COLLEGE – Penn State wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith was happy to bounce back Saturday from a poor performance last week.

Lambert-Smith had five catches for 83 yards and one touchdown in the 11th-ranked Nittany Lions’ 35-16 win over Michigan State at Beaver Stadium.

But he was excited about the 48-yard pass he threw to tight end Theo Johnson for a second-quarter touchdown.

“I feel like I’m a quarterback at heart,” Lambert-Smith said. “I did it in high school. So just to show off the talent of the arm, I feel good today.”

He caught just three passes for 9 yards last week in a 55-10 win at Rutgers and hasn’t had a great season, but with leading receiver Parker Washington out for the second straight time with an undisclosed injury, he’s stepped up.

“We knew with Park going down, the other guys would have more opportunities,” Lambert-Smith said. “We all prepare and work like we’re going to get 10 catches a game. I feel like there’s nothing crazy about it on my part.

“The opportunity was there, and I made it count. I’m grateful for that.”

Lambert-Smith and Johnson said they worked on the play in practice. Shortly before connecting on the field, they converged on the sideline.

“When the play was called, I think it was during a timeout,” Lambert-Smith said. “We were on the sidelines talking about it. Theo said, “Lead me.” So I did. It was a perfect penny. Then I asked him, “Did I lead you enough?” »

As Lambert-Smith returned to the sideline after the touchdown, Clifford made his way to him.

“I already have Drew (Alar) on my (backside),” Clifford said. “Neither are you.”

The king answers: Penn State cornerback Cullen King withstood the challenge of Michigan State quarterback Peyton Thorne.

Thorne threw often in King’s direction, who finished with five pass breakups, one interception and four solo tackles, including one for a loss.

“They have a very talented group of receivers like Keon Coleman and Jaylin Reed,” King said. “I’d go to my best receivers, too, if I were them. I just accepted the challenge and competed all day.”

Late in the fourth quarter, King intercepted Thorne’s pass at the Michigan State 35. On the next play, Clifford made a key pass to Lambert-Smith.

“It meant a lot because we needed a stop,” King said. “The game was too close for my comfort. I felt like I had to make a play and I did.”

King finished the regular season with 18 assists. He got more action because Penn State opponents didn’t want to rush Joey Porter Jr.

“It just gives me more opportunities to make more plays,” King said. “I am grateful for these opportunities. Playing alongside a guy like that (Porter) is great because I can learn from him and compete with him. We can play together on Saturdays. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Carter stands out: Penn State freshman Abdu Carter impressed again, collecting two sacks and three tackles for a loss among seven tackles.

Carter, who has started the last six games, leads the Lions with 6.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, which is highly unusual for a freshman.

“I’m proud of him,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “He’s getting better every week. He has a lot of natural abilities. He’s getting more and more confident in his scheme, which helps our defense play better and gives him the opportunity to make more and more plays.

“He has the ability to find the ball and when he gets there, he has bad intentions.”

Source link