[Live Blog] Penn State vs. Indiana
It’s gameday, Penn State fans! Penn State (4-4) takes on Indiana (3-5) Saturday at noon at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. The Nittany Lions enter on a four-game losing streak, a skid that has featured frustratingly poor offense coupled with stout defense. The Hoosiers, injured across the board, boast standout running back Tevin Coleman. With four games remaining and two wins needed to secure a bowl bid, today is nearly a must-win for the young Nittany Lions. We’ll have live updates from this post. Be sure to follow @OnwardState for pictures and big plays, and @OnwardStSports for more play-by-play. Here is all the media information you’ll need for today, and here are our staff predictions for the game.
Final: Diamont’s last second heave is knocked away, and Penn State wins!! Lions snap their four game losing streak, beating the Hoosiers 13-7!
0:23 4Q: Indiana is throwing short and in bounds, which is a bad idea with no timeouts and 80 yards needed.
0:55 4Q: Ficken’s 29-yard attempt is good! Penn State takes a 13-7 lead. Indiana will have one more chance to score its first offensive points of the game. It will need a touchdown.
0:59 4Q: Belton picks up no gain on third down. Ficken comes out to attempt a field goal with 59 seconds remaining, leading 10-7.
1:50 4Q: Belton is stopped behind the line on first down at the 13. Indiana takes a timeout. Belton runs again, and Indiana takes its final timeout. Upcoming is a third and 11 from the 11.
2:26 4Q: Nyeem Wartman jumps Diamont’s pass and intercepts it! Penn State will take over at Indiana’s 24. On first down, Belton shifts and cuts, a powerful run, to pick up 14.
4:22 4Q: Penn State responds with a three-and-out. Pasquariello lets off another great punt, all the way to Indiana’s 22. It’s a 39-yard punt through wind and rain.
5:28 4Q: A review confirms the interception. On first down, Diamont is hurried and his pass falls incomplete. Indiana can’t do anything more, and on fourth and 18, Della Valle handles the punt at the Nittany Lions’ 24.
7:30 4Q: Jordan Lucas makes a big tackle in the open field on third and five to force a three-and-out. But, from midfield, Hackenberg wildly targets Hamilton to bring up third and 14. In the rain, Hackenberg’s third down pass is tipped, and intercepted. Indiana will have 5:28 from its 48 to mount either a winning or tying drive.
8:48 4Q: Incredibly, Hackenberg is sacked again on the next play. The crowd wakes up for third and long, and IU’s defense forces Hack to throw it away, technically intended for Kyle Carter. Penn State punts to the 16. Looked likes Indiana’s Harris had ample room to return that low punt, but elected to signal for a fair catch. Against Penn State’s defense, it’ll struggle to march down the field. Indiana has zero offensive points today.
10:48 4Q: Griffin Oakes completely shanks the kick and Penn State takes over at the 34. Hackenberg finds Jesse James deep over the middle on second down, a 26-yard gain to Indiana’s 40. Moving from the no huddle, Hackenberg is then sacked again on the next play.
12:50 4Q: Anthony Zettel literally picked up Coleman, then slammed him down for no gain. Two plays later, Diamont converts on third down, completing a pass to Shane Wynn. Then, on third and five from Penn State’s 33, Diamont hits an open slanting receiver who completely drops the pass. The Hoosiers have dropped numerous open passes, several on third down. Out to attempt a 51-yard field goal for the tie.
14:00 4Q: Andrew Nelson moves early, bringing up a third and seven. Another whistle is blown before the snap, this time its a timeout for Penn State. On third down, Hackenberg fumbled the snap, and then was sacked. On to punt: it’s a floater that’s fielded at midfield.
End 3Q: The third quarter ends on a four-yard Bill Belton pickup. Penn State will begin the final 15 minutes at its 27, ahead 10-7.
2:46 3Q: Diamont scrambles for a first down on third and three, aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mike Hull. Diamont hasn’t found anyone open all day, he’s passed for only 41 yards. Diamont then recovers an Indiana fumble several plays later, and a third down incompletion brings up another fourth and long. Della Valle secures the punt at Penn State’s 22. It’s another ho-hum stop for Penn State’s defense.
4:00 3Q: From the 34, Penn State lines up to punt, electing not to use Ficken from about fifty yards away. The Lions take a delay of game to get more room, but Pasquariello promptly punts into the end zone. It’s a windy day in Bloomington, and the wind appears to be blowing into the kicker’s face. Would have been a tough effort for Ficken.
5:38 3Q: From the wildcat formation, Belton takes the snap and picks up 16 yards. It’s one of the few times the wildcat has really worked, and Belton now has 121 yards. Hackenberg finds James for six yards to bring up third and four from Indiana’s 34. PSU moving quickly now, but Hack’s third down pass is incomplete.
7:04 3Q: After three yards by Lynch, the featured back keeps it on third and one and comfortably picks up the first down to its 28. On the ensuing play, Hackenberg targets Hamilton deep. The pass lands really no where near Hamilton, but the officials throw a flag and signal defensive pass interference. A call goes in Penn State’s favor, seemingly a rarity.
8:50 3Q: Coleman is starting to heat up for the Hoosiers, picking up 17 yards out near midfield. Two plays later, Diamont keeps it on a play-action draw and its sniffed out. He’s brought down for a loss of five. Then, on third down, an apparent hold is not called, and the IU receiver drops a very catchable pass. Della Valle fields his eighth punt, this time at the 17.
On that last drive, Bill Belton became the first back to rush for 100 yards in a game this year for Penn State (105 yards today).
— Onward State (@OnwardState) November 8, 2014
9:28 3Q: Ficken drills a short field goal; 10-7, Penn State. 39 yard, nine play drive.
11:35 3Q: Hackenberg finds Chris Godwin for 17 yards and several runs bring up a third and five from the 23. He again found Godwin, this time for eight yards and another first down. Another Belton run put Penn State at the nine facing a third and four. Flushed from the pocket, Hackenberg could not find Gesicki in the back of the endzone.
13:34 3Q: Indiana loses eight yards to begin the half. Della Valle fields another punt in Indiana territory, and Penn State will begin from the 49.
End 2Q: Hoosiers find themselves at Penn State’s 46 with a second left in the half. Diamont is flushed from the pocket, and Della Valle intercepts a heave near the endzone. That mercifully ends the half, 7-7.
1:41 2Q: Indiana seems intent on running out the half, but Penn State has other feelings. The Lions force a three and out, but then jump offsides before the snap on the punt. Just one more chapter in a comedy of errors this half. Indiana then picks up 16 on a double reverse to the 42, and it’s back in business.
2:25 2Q: Belton doesn’t start the next series, following the longest rushing score in school history. Lions go three and out.
2:44 2Q: Again, nothing doing for Indiana on offense. It punts from its endzone, and Penn State will start again at midfield.
3:37 2Q: Penn State takes over at the 8. On the first play, Belton breaks free and goes 92 YARDS FOR A TOUCHDOWN. Easily Penn State’s biggest play of the year. Impressive speed at the end by Belton, outrunning two defenders, and breaking a tackle at the ten. 7-7 and finally some excitement in this game.
4:06 2Q: Indiana can’t get anything on its ensuing drive, despite the momentum. Della Valle gets his first back return on numerous opportunities. On the first play of the drive, Hackenberg is picked off on an all-out rush. It’s returned for a touchdown. 7-0, Indiana. The pass was intended to Saeed Blacknall. Not a good look from Hackeberg, but admittedly a superb effort by the Hoosiers’ defense.
6:43 2Q: Ouch. Hackenberg is sacked on third and goal from the one. Ficken, Penn State’s most consistent source of offense, is blocked. Pretty terrible sequence after facing a first and goal from the one.
7:51 2Q: Penn State cannot reach the endzone from two yards out on first or second down. Third and goal from the two upcoming, Penn State uses its third time out. Franklin looks on, seemingly not pleased. 10:37 2Q: On a bizarre play, Hackenberg fumbles a pump fake, which is caught by Lynch who picks up seven yards. Penn State will take running yards however it can. Three plays later, Hackenberg makes one of his best passes in weeks, finding Lewis in the corner for 23 yards. Down to Indiana’s eight. Hack again targets the corner with an endzone fade. It’s incomplete, but a clear interference penalty brings the ball to the two.
12:00 2Q: Indiana wisely elects to punt. Della Valle fields it at the 14. Akeel Lynch carries for 20 yards (!) on first down, by far the Lions’ most explosive play on the ground. He then is tackled for a loss on the next play. Hackenberg finds Mike Gesicki for 28 yards and, for the first time today, we have a drive building!
13:20 2Q: As ugly as Penn State’s play has been thus far, Indiana’s hasn’t been any better. On its first drive of the second quarter, the Hoosiers burn a timeout on third and 26 to avoid a delay of game. The timeout almost paid off, picking up 24 yards, which the overzealous PA announcer rules a first down. Indiana calls another timeout to discuss going for it on fourth down.
End 1Q: Can Penn State get anything going on its fourth drive? The answer is a resounding no. Hackenberg is sacked on second down, then fails to hit an open Jesse James on third down. Another three and out. Silver lining: Pasquariello is off to a better start. He gets off another 40-yarder to the Hoosiers’ 19. At the end of the first quarter, no score. Hackenberg did, however, surpass 5,000 career passing yards. 3:18 1Q: Penn State’s defense continues to be dominate, allowing one first down but stifling the Hoosiers on its second set of downs. A third and seven run is stopped by Mike Hull at the line of scrimmage. Indiana punts to Della Valle. Della Valle lets it bounce out of bounds at his 40. Game of punts thus far.
4:49 1Q: Hackenberg’s third and nine pass falls incomplete. Penn State punts, which is nothing new. But this time it’s a great kick that sails 48 yards, and even better coverage that tackles Indiana at its 3. IU lost 10 on that return.
5:54 1Q: Dieffenbach starts the drive at guard, his first appearance of the year. Hackenberg finds Jesse Merise fot 11 yards, before Belton loses 4 on the next play. Third and nine upcoming after Hack keeps it for five yards. Penn State takes its first timeout. Some early stats: Hackenberg is off to a good start with 60 yards on 5-8 passing. The running woes continue with -2 total yards. Hamilton’s caught two passes for 33 yards. Indiana’s quarterback Diamont is a competent runner with four carries for 29 yards.
8:53 1Q: Indiana picks up its first first down on a 10-yard Zander Diamont quarterback keeper. Two plays later, Diamont picked up 18 more, out towards midfield. A second and nine completion gains seven yards into Penn State territory, but a shifty Diamont is brought down in the backfield to bring up fourth and three. The Hoosiers’ punt bounces backwards, and Penn State will take over at its 27.
10:30 1Q: Hackenberg’s risky second down pass to Lewis across the field picks up nine yards to the 27. On third down, Hack steps up in the pocket — with good protection! — and finds a wide open Hamilton for 29 yards. Two plays later, however, he’s sacked for a loss of six. On third and long, nothing’s doing for the Nittany Lions. Pasquariello punts to Indiana’s 17. We’ve seen one first down in the game’s first three drives.
12:59 1Q: Indiana can’t do anything on their first drive, and it looks likes we’re in store for a good ol’ punting battle. It’s a good boot by the Hoosiers, but innocently bounces into the endzone for a touchback.
This game… White: incompletion, 2 bubble screens, punt Red: 3 running plays, punt Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. — Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) November 8, 2014
15:00 1Q: Indiana won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Hackenberg goes deep to DaeSean Hamilton on the game’s first play. It sails well long, and Hamilton is essentially forced to defend the ball from not being intercepted. Two plays later, Lewis hauls in a screen, but is brought down short of the first down. It’s a three and out, and a 34-yard punt coupled with a penalty puts Indiana at its 48.
Pregame: It’s nearing kickoff at Memorial Stadium. A generous estimate would put the stadium at about 30 percent full. Plenty of blue and white in the stands.
Around twenty minutes before kickoff, Geno Lewis is ready to haul in passes against the Big Ten’s worst passing defense. More good news: Miles Dieffenbach is dressed and warming up. Akeel Lynch has also taken the field with under an hour to go before kickoff. The Indiana fans, meanwhile, seem to have not received the memo that there’s a game today. It looks like Dave Witvoet will be the head official for today’s game. Penn State has a bad history of unfortunate calls in games that Witvoet has headed.
The Nittany Lions will be without tackle Donovan Smith today, as he didn’t travel with the team. That further stretches Penn State’s already thin offensive line. It’s still unclear if guard Miles Dieffenbach will see action. He hasn’t play all year, and, though Franklin suggested he might have played against Maryland, he ended up not dressing in uniform last Saturday.
PSU’s starting OL today: LT-RS Freshman LG-RS Freshman C-2nd career start RG-Converted DT RT-Used to be the center
— Matt d (@PSUMatt2005) November 8, 2014
At 9:30, James Franklin, Christian Hackenberg, and the rest of the Penn State football team made its way into Memorial Stadium.
Though Indiana may not be the prime Big Ten football hotspot, Memorial Stadium is certainly a unique locale. It features a gothic look, and a great view of IU’s historic Assembly Hall, where its basketball team plays.