Penn State tops Syracuse in opener, 23-17
Updated: Sunday, September 1 2013, 12:58 AM EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Christian Hackenberg threw two touchdown passes in his first college game and the freshman led Penn State to 23-17 victory against Syracuse on Saturday.
Hackenberg went 22 for 31 for 278 yards with two interceptions and became the second freshman to start a Penn State opener at quarterback since 1910.
The 18-year-old blue chip recruit hit Eugene Lewis with a deep pass down the middle and the receiver reached into the end zone for a 54-yard score that made it 23-10 with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter. Hackenberg also hooked up with Allen Robinson on a 51-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Robinson, Penn State's leading receiver last season, unexpectedly did not play in the first half, but finished with seven catches for 133 yards.
Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen got the start at quarterback for new Syracuse coach Scott Shafer, and finished 16 for 37 for 189 yards.