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September 8, 2013

Class of 2013 five-star tracker

MORE: First and 10: Prospects who look like locks

With Christian Hackenberg starting at quarterback for Penn State, it is likely the record books in State College are going to need a lot of retooling.

Coming off of the fourth-best passing game for a freshman in the storied program's history, the former five-star prospect set a Nittany Lions mark by throwing for 311 yards in a 45-7 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

Hackenberg was the No. 24 player in the Rivals100 presented by Under Armour for the class of 2013. He said that no matter the amount of times that he was inside Beaver Stadium as a prospect, it was nothing like actually feeling the electricity of nearly 100,00 fans as a player.

"It was awesome, he said. "The fans were great. It definitely lived up to all the hype that I have been hearing throughout my entire recruiting process. It was awesome just being out there, the student section was fantastic, and we really got after it in the second half."

Hackenberg broke the freshman record that had stood since 2001, when Zack Mills threw for 280 yards against Ohio State. Hackenberg's 300-yard game was just the 21st by a quarterback in the history of Penn State football.

Head coach Bill O'Brien was pleased with the performance.

"This was his first game [at Beaver Stadium]. He was amped up," O'Brien said. "I thought he obviously settled down pretty well. I think it's pretty easy to see he's a hardworking kid. He has talent."

Hackenberg was aided by a running game that piled up 251 yards and a defense that forced five three-and-outs in the second half. His lone touchdown of the day was a 45-yard pass to Allen Robinson early in the fourth quarter that extended the lead to 31-7.

The play was more important going forward than it was for the outcome of the game.

"That was a big confidence builder for me. Knowing that [Robinson] dove in and made that touchdown was big for me," Hackenberg said. "The offensive line really held up, and it made me really comfortable. All the receivers and I built really good relationships together throughout the summer, but now actually seeing that bond come into play, it helps me build more of my confidence as the season goes on."

Next week, the Nittany Lions host an undefeated UCF program that has allowed 258 combined yards passing in two games.

Recruiting class of 2013 five-star tracker
Nkemdiche started on the defensive line again and had a big game as the Rebels overpowered Southeast Missouri State. He made four solo tackles and assisted on another. He also had two tackles for loss.
Season stats: Six tackles. One assist. Three tackles for loss. One rush for 11 yards.

For the second week in a row, Hargreaves did not start but made his presence known when he was on the field. He had three solo tackles and made another interception, returning it 24 yards.
Season stats: Three tackles. Two interceptions for 39 yards.

Smith started at outside linebacker again. The talented prospect saw a marked improvement in his play in the loss to Michigan. He was credited with four solo tackles and one assist. He added a pass break-up.
Season stats: Four solo tackles. Two assists. One pass break-up.

Lawson was in action against Arkansas St. He did not start but saw plenty of time on the field in the 38-9 victory. He had two solo tackles and forced a fumble.
Season stats: Two tackles. One quarterback hurry. One forced fumble.

Treadwell started in the slot for the second consecutive game. His performance was not as overwhelming against Southeast Missouri State as it was against Vanderbilt, but he came away with two receptions for 27 yards. He got the ball on a carry, as well, and it went for 7 yards.
Season stats: 11 catches for 109 yards. One rush for 7 yards.

Bigelow enrolled early and competed for playing time. He did not see game action for the second consecutive week and is likely to redshirt.

Browne enrolled early and was in competition for the starting quarterback position. He did not see game action and may redshirt.

Green was a nonfactor in the victory over Notre Dame. He was given one carry and lost a yard.
Season stats: 12 carries for 57 yards and one touchdown.

Fuller started at cornerback as Virginia Tech defeated Western Carolina. He made two solo tackles and was credited with a pass break-up and a quarterback hurry. The Hokies had him back for punt returns again, but it did not result in return yards.
Season stats: Six tackles. One pass break-up. One quarterback hurry. Three punt returns for minus-1 yard.

Florida State was idle this week.
Season stats: Three tackles, one assist. One interception for 31 yards.

Alabama was idle.
Season stats: Two tackles.

Cravens started again at strong safety in the Trojans' 10-7 loss to Washington State. He made one solo tackle and was in on two assists. He was credited for half of a tackle for a loss.
Season stats: Four tackles. Three assists. Half of a tackle for a loss. One interception for 0 yards.

Rueben Foster, Alabama
Alabama was idle
Season stats: One assisted tackle.

Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
Tunsil did not start but saw playing time.
Season stats: Two games participated in.

Florida State was idle.
Season stats: Zero tackles.

O.J. Howard, Alabama
Alabama was idle.
Season stats: None

Tyner saw his first action of the season in the Ducks' 59-10 victory over Virginia. He scored a touchdown on his first carry -- a 3-yard rush. Tyner finished with four carries, 51 yards and two scores.
Season stats: Four carries for 51 yards. Two touchdowns.

White was much more of an impact performer this week against UAB than he was in the opener against TCU. He totaled two solo tackles and four assists off the bench.
Season stats: Two tackles. Four assists.

Greg Bryant, Notre Dame
Bryant saw time on the field in the 41-30 loss to Michigan but did not record a statistic.
Season stats: Two carries for 12 yards.

Jones made the start at defensive tackle in the Bulldogs' game against Alcorn State. He had one tackle and one assist.
Season stats: One tackle. Three assists. One-half tackle for loss. One quarterback hurry.

UCLA was idle.
Season stats: Six tackles. Two tackles for loss.

McQuay again was in on special teams for the Trojans. He made a tackle and forced a fumble on a punt in the first quarter.
Season stats: One tackle. One forced fumble.

Herron did not play in the victory over UAB; it is likely that he will redshirt.

The starting quarterback for Penn State had his first 300-yard passing game in the 45-7 victory over Eastern Michigan. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked four times, and his first-quarter fumble was returned for the lone Eastern Michigan points.
Season stats: 45-for-64. 589 yards. Three touchdowns. Two interceptions.

Adams did not start in Auburn's 38-9 victory over Arkansas State, but he got in early and often. He was a disruptive force, credited with three quarterback hurries.
Season stats: Two tackles. One sack. Four quarterback hurries.

Mitchell did not play in the victory over San Diego State. He likely will redshirt.

Isaac was in the game for USC against Washington State but did not register a statistic.
Season stats: One carry, 4 yards.

Alex Anzalone, Florida
Anzalone played in the contest against Miami, but he did not register a stat for the second straight contest.
Season stats: None.

Mizzell was used in all phases of the offensive game for Virginia in its crushing defeat to Oregon. He carried four times for 14 yards and caught four passes for 18 yards. He returned two kickoffs for 26 yards.
Season stats: 11 carries for 30 yards. Four receptions for 18 yards. Five kickoffs for 82 yards.

Max Redfield, Notre Dame
Redfield did not participate in the Notre Dame loss to Michigan.
Season stats: One assisted tackle.

Pitt was idle this week.

Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Bell was in on defense during the fourth quarter of the team's 42-7 victory over San Diego State. He recorded an assist on a tackle.
Season stats: Two tackles. Two assists.

Alabama was idle.
Season stats: Two tackles.

Dallas Jackson is the national columnist for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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