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Zwinak impresses on the ground -- again

10/6/2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Zach Zwinak slept in his hotel room Friday night and woke up thinking Bill Belton would grab a majority of the carries early on. He figured Bill O'Brien might call his number a few times, so he was prepared.

"For me, I go in each game hoping to get a play or two," he said. "I was always taught, 'Make the best of your opportunity.' So I try to do that every single game."

For the third straight game, Zwinak did exactly that. He lunged forward for several yards a carry and, for the third straight time, he led the team in rushing. O'Brien told reporters Tuesday he would take a committee approach to running the ball; he said the leading rusher would likely have 12-15 carries.

That changed after he watched Zwinak plow through a tough Northwestern rushing defense for an extra 2-3 yards with every play. The fullback-turned-tailback finished with 121 yards on 28 carries. Belton had four carries for 12 yards.

"We felt his physical presence in this type of game was something we wanted to go with," O'Brien said. "It's nothing against Billy Belton. He's a really good football player; there's just one ball."

O'Brien said he did not believe Belton's ankle was an issue Saturday.