Moye will miss two games

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's struggling offense took a big hit.

Wide receiver Derek Moye is expected to miss the next two games with a broken foot, the school announced Thursday.

Moye, a fifth-year co-captain from Rochester High School, broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot Tuesday when he slipped on stairs in his apartment after dinner, according to the school.

Team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli said Moye's injury will not require surgery and he could be back for the Oct. 29 Big Ten Conference home game against Illinois.

Moye, a three-year starter and preseason candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, leads the Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-0) with 28 receptions for 485 yards (17.3 average) and three touchdowns.

He has caught 10 touchdown passes from quarterback Matt McGloin in the past 13 games, and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in receptions and fifth in receiving yards.

Moye, 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds, ranks third in school history in receptions (132) and yards (2,226) and fourth in touchdowns (18).

His likely replacement will be redshirt sophomore Shawney Kersey, who has five catches for 108 yards.

The school also announced that three players who had previously been injured returned to practice and should be available for a game Saturday against Purdue (3-2, 1-0).

They include backup tailback Brandon Beachum (sprained foot), starting cornerback D'Anton Lynn (concussion) and backup cornerback Stephon Morris (ankle).

Two tough tackles

Penn State has two of the better defensive tackles in the Big Ten.

Fifth-year senior co-captain Devon Still ranks second in the Big Ten with nine tackles for losses and junior Jordan Hill is third on the team with 31 tackles.

"They definitely wreak havoc," free safety Nick Sukay said. "They are probably the best defensive tackle tandem in the Big Ten."

Still, 6-5, 310, is tied for the team lead with two sacks and he is fifth in tackles with 30. He also has forced a fumble.

He was named to ESPN.com's midseason All-America team earlier this week and was selected runner-up for the Big Ten's midseason defensive player of the year award.

Still also was added to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to Division I-A's best defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club.

"[Devon] has fire in his eyes," weakside linebacker Gerald Hodges said.

Hill, 6-1, 297, is tied for 11th in the Big Ten with five tackles for losses. He has 1 1/2 sacks, has forced a fumble and also recovered one for the Lions, who are riding a four-game winning streak.

Offensive line steps up

Despite the offense's red zone woes, the much-maligned offensive line was able to silence the critics for at least one week.

Tailback Silas Redd ran for a career-high 142 yards in the win against Iowa and backup Curtis Dukes added a career-high 60 yards as the line paved the way for 231 yards rushing.

"Obviously, everything just came together at the right time," right guard DeOn'tae Pannell said. "We've been working on it for so long ... it hasn't been great the first couple weeks and it just kind of came together.

"Guys really took it upon themselves and personally that people didn't think we could run the ball very well. And we all put it on our backs and we were able to have success with it."

Very stingy defense

Penn State's defense has allowed 63 points in its first six games (10.5 avg.), its second-lowest total since joining the Big Ten in 1993.

That trails only the 61 points allowed in 2009.

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley's unit has surrendered only two touchdowns in the past four games and six all year, tied for second in Division I-A.

Three of the touchdowns came in a 27-11 loss to Alabama.

Familiar homecoming foe

Purdue, which trails, 10-3-1 in the all-time series, will be Penn State's homecoming opponent for the fourth time.

The Nittany Lions have won the previous three matchups, winning, 31-14, in 1996, 31-13 in '98 and 33-15 in 2005.

Penn State is 62-21-5 in homecoming games, including 39-6 under coach Joe Paterno.

But the Lions suffered a 33-13 loss to Illinois last season, their worst homecoming loss in 55 years.


Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com and Twitter @rmusselmanppg.


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