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Central Florida declines Penn State's help as Nittany Lions hang on

After last weekend's loss to Boston College, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said no team can win when it commits five turnovers. Central Florida helped prove him wrong.

Tony Hunt rushed for three touchdowns as the Nittany Lions overcame six turnovers by quarterback Zack Mills to beat the Golden Knights 37-13 on Saturday.

Mills had four fumbles and two interceptions, and only Hunt's consistent running and an equally poor showing by UCF spared Penn State.

In the past two games, Mills has committed 10 turnovers, six of them interceptions.

"I am concerned about it," Paterno said. "I think we have to do a much better job protecting the football and we need to be more careful in the passes we make. Three (turnovers) and you usually lose. I hope most of it is correctable."

It was no surprise that Mills was in no mood to celebrate setting a record. He became the most prolific quarterback in Penn State history by throwing for 229 yards to raise his career total to 6,081.

In becoming the first Nittany Lions quarterback to surpass 6,000 yards, Mills broke the record of 5,869 set by Tony Sacca from 1988-91.

"I'm very frustrated right now," said Mills, who threw a 1-yard touchdown to tight end John Bronson and caught a 39-yard pass from Michael Robinson after lining up at receiver.

"It's nice that we did win, so I'm happy about that. But (all the turnovers) shouldn't happen, so I'm a little down right now. Six turnovers; you're usually going to get killed."

Hunt's first touchdown, a 4-yard run in the second quarter, gave Penn State the lead. On his second, a 26-yard run, he started left, then cut right, spun around a defender and dived past two more into the end zone, making it 14-3.

Bronson, a former defensive end, made his first career catch for a 21-3 lead late in the second quarter.

But when Mills' pass bounced off Terrance Phillips' chest, Mike Walker returned his second interception of the game 59 yards to set up Matt Prater's last-second, 22-yard field goal. That made it 21-6 at halftime.

Tavaris Capers fumbled a punt return on UCF's 2, and Calvin Lowry recovered for Penn State. But Mills fumbled the snap on the first play, and Stanford Rhule recovered for the Golden Knights.

Four plays later, UCF punter Aaron Horne let the snap sail through his hands and out the back of the end zone for a safety and a 23-6 Penn State lead.

Hunt scored his third touchdown on a 33-yard run up the middle late in the third.

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