Penn State Rolls to Victory Over Indiana State
Up 28-0 in the third quarter and threatening to score again, Penn State went to fullback Joe Suhey to try to punch it in. After he fell short, Penn State tried the same play again. The officials stopped the play to perform a review, so who did the Nittany Lions go to on their third attempt?
It was a common theme for Penn State in its 41-7 rout of Indiana State: run, and run often. Led by tailback Silas Redd, the Nittany Lions ran for 245 yards against an overwhelmed Indiana State defense.
“I thought Silas did some really good things,” assistant coach Galen Hall said. “We went out and went after it pretty good. The backs, I thought they did some good things.”
The running backs stole the show on a day that was supposed to be an audition for the starting quarterback position. Neither Rob Bolden nor Matt McGloin performed vastly better than the other or made many mistakes. Bolden got the first quarter, McGloin got the second, and the two alternated drives in the third.
Bolden went 6-12 for 37 yards, although two of his passes that would have been sure touchdowns were dropped by the intended receivers. McGloin went 6-8 for 77 yards. Neither quarterback threw for a touchdown, or an interception.
Quartbacks coach Jay Paterno said, “We feel like we have two guys we can win with…We’ll look at the film and look at what we can come up with [for Alabama], and we’ll go from there.”
Penn State got on the board early, scoring on the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game. Chaz Powell was untouched as he headed into the end zone for an opening-day kickoff return–his second in two seasons, as last year he returned one against Youngstown State on opening day.
The Penn State defense also came ready to play against Indiana State. After holding the Sycamores to a three-and-out on their first drive, the Nittany Lions forced their first turnover of the season on the second drive. Drew Astorino intercepted a Robbie Fouch pass, grabbing the first of what would end up being three takeaways for Penn State.
“I think we’re a pretty good defensive football team,” head coach Joe Paterno said. “[However],we gotta go against somebody that has the kind of skill level we’re gonna see this upcoming week [against Alabama].”
The only facet of the game that was not clicking for the Nittany Lions was special teams. Evan Lewis missed field goals from 38 and 47 yards, as well as missing an extra point. Sam Ficken replaced Lewis after that failed extra point conversion and hit his only attempt–an extra point. Still Anthony Fera may be in the mix for playing time when he returns from suspension.
Overall, it was hard for the coaches to judge the team when playing against the level of competition that Indiana State provided. The running game was impressive, but the performance came against a team that gave up over 200 yards rushing per game last year. Both Penn State quarterbacks felt like they did enough to earn the starting job, but the coaches would not commit to one quarterback after the game. Joe Paterno even said that he thinks both players will play against Alabama.
Though questions remain, the Nittany Lions will be content with the strong performance they put on in blowing out Indiana State.
Be sure to check out our photos from today’s game! Also visit StateCollege.com for analysis from Paterno-expert Mike Poorman.
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