Penn State Wins Homecoming Game, 23-18
In a crazy game that featured three turnovers, several huge special teams plays and wind gusts reaching 52 miles per hour, Penn State was able to pull out a 23-18 win over Purdue. With the win, the Nittany Lions improve to 6-1 on the season and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
After a couple of 3-and-outs to start the game, Purdue threatened to score first. A 20 yard pass from Caleb TerBush to Antavian Edison got the Boilermakers deep into Penn State territory. However, the Nittany Lions held firm, and Carson Wiggs missed a 44 yard field goal.
On the ensuing drive, Rob Bolden led the Nittany Lions on a seven play, 73 yard drive, capped off by a Curtis Dukes one yard rush for a touchdown to put Penn State up 7-0. The drive took just over three minutes and was highlighted by a 19 yard pass from Bolden to Brandon Moseby-Felder.
TerBush continued to evade pressure on Purdue’s next drive. After avoiding a sack, he connected with Justin Siller for 50 yards. The Boilermakers were held to a field goal however, with Wiggs converting from 28 yards to make it 7-3.
In the second quarter, the Boilermakers continued to gain huge chunks of yards, but they could not get the ball into the end zone. Edison caught an 18 yard pass, and Ralph Bolden had a 39 yard run, but Purdue stalled at the Penn State 15 yard line. Wiggs connected on a 32 yard field goal to close the gap to just one point at 7-6.
It looked like the score would remain 7-6 heading into the half, but Purdue made some crucial errors with less than a minute left. TerBush threw an errant pass that was intercepted by Nick Sukay, who was hit out of bounds for a late hit penalty. The Nittany Lions were almost able to turn the opportunity into seven points, but Andrew Szczerba could not hold onto a touchdown pass. Anthony Fera converted a 29 yard field goal to give Penn State a 10-6 halftime lead.
Penn State struck first in the second half with a 40 yard field goal to go up 13-6. Justin Brown returned a Purdue punt 33 yards to the Boilermaker 31 yard line, but the Nittany Lions could not gain a first down.
Purdue responded with a great return of its own. Raheem Mostert returned the Penn State kickoff 71 yards to the Nittany Lion 26 yard line. TerBush then threw a 14 yard touchdown pass, but Wiggs missed the extra point to make it 13-12 with 4:02 left in the third quarter.
With a renewed sense of urgency, Penn State sprinted down the field for 60 yards on four plays. Silas Redd carried a defender into the end zone for a touchdown to give the Nittany Lions some breathing room at 20-12. On the next drive, Purdue drove down the field at nearly the same pace, but Nick Sukay got an interception to kill the Boilermaker’s momentum.
Penn State looked primed to put the game away with three long pass completions on the next drive. McGloin tried to force a ball into the end zone however, and the pass was deflected and intercepted. The Boilermakers drove down the field and scored on a one yard touchdown run to make it 20-18. The 2-point conversion was not converted, meaning Purdue had now left six points on the board.
The fast-paced action did not stop there. Chaz Powell returned the Purdue kickoff 93 yards to the Purdue three yard line. A personal for unsportsmanlike conduct moved the ball back 15 yards though, and Penn State was held to a field goal. Fera’s 29-yarder put the Nittany Lions up 23-18 with 6:24 remaining in the game.
With Purdue pressing to score, the Penn State defense capitalized on another Purdue mistake. A deflected pass was intercepted by Sukay, his second of the game. Penn State was able to gain a first down after Purdue used all of its timeouts. McGloin then kneed the ball to secure the victory.