Penn State football: Nittany Lions announce future games with Georgia State, Kent State

tjohnson@centredaily.comJuly 17, 2014 

— Penn State announced on Thursday it will play future football games against Georgia State and Kent State.

Penn State and Georgia State will play on Sept. 16, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in what will be the first meeting between the two teams. Penn State coach James Franklin and his assistants struck up a working relationship with Georgia State’s staff earlier this summer when Franklin and a handful of Penn State assistants volunteered at a football camp hosted by Georgia State.

The Panthers football program entered competition as a Football Championship Subdivision independent team in 2010. Georgia State joined the Sun Belt Conference in time for the 2013 season, when the Panthers went 0-12 in their first season of Football Bowl Subdivision play.

Meanwhile, Penn State’s previously announced 2017 game against Pittsburgh will be held on Sept. 9 at Beaver Stadium. The longtime rivals will meet each season from 2016 to 2019.

Penn State will continue its series against Mid-American Conference foe Kent State in 2018. The Nittany Lions will host the Golden Flashes on Sept. 15, 2018. Penn State is 4-0 against Kent State and will play the Golden Flashes on Sept. 2 2016 at Beaver Stadium.

Running backs named to watch list

Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak have been named to the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list, Penn State announced Thursday.

The award is given to the nation’s top running back.

After a injury-plagued 2012 season, Belton ascended up the depth chart at running back last season with 1,036 all-purpose yards that included 803 rushing yards on 157 carries and five touchdowns. He caught 15 passes for 158 yards for two touchdowns. Belton also notched a few milestones. He became the first Penn State running back since Larry Johnson, Penn State’s last winner of the Doak Walker Award, in 2002 to rush for 200 or more yards in a game when he carried for 201 yards against Illinois. Belton also scored the game-winning touchdown against Michigan in Penn State’s thrilling, four-overtime win at Beaver Stadium.

Zwinak turned in a team-best 989 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 210 carries last season.

The Nittany Lions are one of seven programs with multiple players on the 53-man award watch list.

Follow Travis Johnson on Twitter @bytravisjohnson.

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