The Nittany Lions dug themselves an early hole in the Citrus Bowl with some terrible execution on special teams.

Penn State entered the showdown with Kentucky looking for its tenth win of the season. Unfortunately, the first quarter was all Wildcats.

One big reason for Penn State’s slow start rests with the special teams. It started on the first drive of the game as the Nittany Lions dialed up a fake punt. That play went absolutely nowhere and turned the ball over on downs.

Trace McSorley and the offense finally put together a solid drive on the third possession of the game. However, special teams would strike again, this time with a missed field goal from 40 yards out.

Things would get even worse on the next possession as the offense went three-and-out. Kentucky return man Lynn Bowden Jr. took the ensuing punt 58 yards for a score, putting the Nittany Lions in an early 10-0 hole.

Thankfully, McSorley led Penn State on a touchdown drive with the ensuing possession to cut the lead to 10-7. Still, the special teams unit must play better in order to secure a win.