The Penn State Nittany Lions will be without two key players for the remainder of the year, as seniors Zach Zwinak and Ryan Keisser suffered season ending injuries.
Zwinak, who sustained a lower leg injury on the first play of Saturday’s game, had been a stalwart in the Nittany Lions backfield, rushing for 100 yards 11 times during his four-year career. Despite a sub-par 2014 season, Zwinak finishes his career with 21 touchdowns and 2,108 yards – good for fifteenth all time in school history. A committee of running backs including Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch, will likely replace Zwinak’s duties.
On the other hand, Keisser, a co-captain and safety, injured himself during Thursday’s practice and the details of the injury remain unclear. Up until this weekend Keisser had started the first six games recording 25 tackles and an interception. The Nittany Lions turned to freshman Marcus Allen in his absence Saturday and he is the educated guess for a long-term solution.
Penn State has had an extremely disappointing season under first year head coach James Franklin highlighted by Saturday’s devastating 31-24 overtime lose at the hands of rival Ohio State. Now, the team enters Saturday’s matchup against Maryland riding a three-game losing skid. Still, the game will be the first ever in conference match up for the two teams and should provide Penn State with an opportunity to shake their losing ways.
*Section Photo credit to Justin K. Aller, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Matthew O’Haren, USA Today Sports