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MAC Marvels Shock Penn State

AP/SF Chronicle, Deanne Fitzmaurice
Forget Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington. Penn State misses Kevin Thompson and Chafie Fields more.

The Nittany Lions again struggled offensively, and lost 24-6 to Toledo on Saturday to fall to 0-2 for the first time since 1990.

Chester Taylor ran for 141 yards, including two touchdowns, and Tavares Bolden threw for 140 yards and one touchdown for Toledo.

The Rockets (1-0) hadn't beaten a top opponent since opening the 1997 season with a 36-22 victory over Purdue.

Penn State, which had never lost to a Mid-American Conference opponent, has lost five consecutive regular-season games for the first time since dropping seven straight in 1931.

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Game Summary

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  • Taylor had touchdown runs of 13 and 1 yards as Toledo took a 17-0 halftime lead. The Rockets made it 24-0 on a 13-yard pass from Bolden to Lyle Green on the first possession of the third quarter.

    Penn State entered the season with questions marks on defense after losing nine starters, including Brown and Arrington, the top two picks in the NFL draft.

    But the Nittany Lions, who lost 29-5 to No. 12 Southern California in the Kickoff Classic last Sunday, haven't been able to produce on offense, and went six quarters without a touchdown.

    After gaining just 142 yards, including 6 rushing, against Southern Cal, Penn State had 166 yards against Toledo 64 in the first half.

    Thompson, who threw for 1,916 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, made the Cleveland Browns' roster as a third-stringer. Fields, a flanker who accounted for 830 total yards in 1999, was among the final cuts for the San Francisco 49ers.

    With Rashard Casey starting his third career game he led Penn State to a 24-0 victory over Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl ast season the Nittany Lions went three-and-out on their first two possessions.

    Taylor's 13-yard run gave Toledo a 7-0 lead with 10:12 left in the first. A 24-yard field goal by Todd France made it 10-0 with 3:06 remaining in the first.

    Penn State didn't get a first down until Casey scrambled for five yards on a third-and-1 with 1:35 left in the first.

    The play drew mock applause from the crowd of 94,296 at Beaver Stadium.

    The Rockets made it 17-0 when Taylor ran in from the 1 with 32 seconds left in the half. The touchdown capped a 14-play, 83-yard drive that consumed 6:07.

    Penn State finally scored its first touchdown as Casey improvised a 61-yard pass to Larry Johnson that cut it to 24-6 with 7:27 left in the third. Ryan Primanti missed the extra point.

    Casey scrambled right, stopped just before running out of bounds, jumped and threw across his body and over several defenders to Johnson, who ran untouched to the end zone.

    Casey was 5-of-13 for 98 yards. He was replaced by Matt Senneca in the fourth quarter for the second straight week.

    The Nittany Lions moved inside Toledo territory for the first time in the second quarter, but the drive stalled at the 29 and David Kimball hooked a 46-yarder his first field-goal attempt.

    Penn State, which fell out of the Top 25 for the first time in eight years after the loss to USC, hadn't lost a home opener Texas beat them 17-13 in 1990.

    Joe Paterno remains seven victories shy of breaking Bear Bryant's Division I-A record of 323.

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