SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- There are approximately three Syracuse fans to every two Penn State fans here at the Carrier Dome, by my estimation. We'll see how long before the Nittany Lions' fans drown out the Orange faithful. On to some first-quarter observations from the press box:
1. Andrew Quarless saw his first action since the opener. The tight end, who was told he would not play last week after he was broiled in the on-campus marijuana investigation at his on-campus residence, was in on kickoff coverage. Quarless, though, dressed last week and was permitted to travel with the team for this away game. He delivered a block for kick returner Derrick Williams. He was also inserted late in the first quarter as the second tight end on a third-and-short.
2. On the Lions' first series, Daryll Clark made his first major gaffe of the season when he couldn't find a receiver, rolled left and had the ball knocked from his throwing hand. Syracuse recovered, but coughed the ball up on the next play when quarterback Cameron Dantley tried to hit running back Curtis Brinkley on a screen. Brinkley was behind Dantley, so when he couldn't catch the pass, the ball was live. Penn State's Lydell Sargeant recovered.
3. Penn State then struck back when Clark found his favorite receiver, Jordan Norwood for a 55-yard touchdown strike. Norwood was wide open, avoided a tackler and danced the rest of way into the end zone. Wide receiver Deon Butler had a nice downfield block for his teammate. On Penn State's next possession, Butler hauled in a beaut -- a fade in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard score. Officials reviewed the play, but Butler was in bounds.
4. Drew Astorino played the nickel defensive back position for the second straight week. A.J. Wallace had played there in the first week. Wallace was back to receive the opening kick.
5. Evan Royster continues to impress. The sophomore running back had ten carries for 64 yards in the first frame. But when the Lions drove down to the Syracuse 1, fullback Dan Lawlor got the call and scored. Penn State's ahead, 21-0, and the rout is officially on.
6. Syracuse has no first downs and minus-five yards of total offense after the first 15 minutes. Enough said.