Penn State Gets Back Into The Win Column With 33-28 Victory
Penn State (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) headed out Bloomington to take on Indiana (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) for a Saturday afternoon showdown. The Nittany Lions found their way back into the win column, taking down the Hoosiers 33-21.
Despite a slow first half, the Nittany Lions were able to pull away from Indiana in the second half even if it never looked great.
How It Happened
KJ Hamler started the game off with a bang, returning the opening kick 56 yards all the way to the Indiana 36. Miles Sanders made a big gain off of a wheel route to bring the Nittany Lions within a few yards of the end zone. After McSorley brought the ball down to the one-yard line, Sanders punched it in for a touchdown.
The Hoosiers responded quickly, though, going 75 yards on eight plays to tie things up at 7-7 with 10:18 to play in the first quarter.
Penn State struggled for the rest of the quarter, failing to put up any points and punting twice before a turnover on downs. With 1:06 remaining in the quarter, however, the Hoosiers took a 14-7 lead after Ronnie Walker waltzed through the defense.
In the second quarter, the Nittany Lions came out struggling. McSorley searched for Hippenhammer downfield, but the redshirt freshman couldn’t bring the ball down and it fell into the arms of an Indiana defender for an interception.
No. 9 decided it was time to put the team on his back, though, as McSorley broke out for a 44 yard gain. Later in the drive, Rahne dialed up some “trickeration” as Tommy Stevens entered the game. Stevens faked the run before finding Freiermuth for a 23-yard touchdown. The two teams were tied up with 10:08 to play in the half.
Pinegar added a field goal with 6:27 remaining in the quarter to give Penn State a 17-14 lead which it would take into the half. Penn State put up 254 yards of total offense against Indiana’s 284. The Hoosiers also out-rushed the Nittany Lions 145 to 83.
On the opening drive of the second half, PJ Mustipher forced a fumble after Indiana had been driving down the field. Garrett Taylor jumped on the loose ball, but Penn State could only get a field goal from the drive. The Nittany Lions took a 20-14 lead with 7:16 remaining in the third quarter.
The Hoosiers struck back with 4:01 to play in the third quarter after Stevie Scott rushed in a three-yard touchdown to cap off an 81-yard drive. Jonathan Thomas nearly returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, though, and McSorley ran the ball in five yards for a score. The point after was blocked, but the Nittany Lions took a 26-21 lead.
With 11:52 remaining in the game, Jonathan Sutherland forced a fumble on an Indiana punt return. Trace McSorley made the Hoosiers pay with a rushing touchdown to give Penn State a 33-21 lead with 10:25 remaining in the game.
With just 49 seconds remaining, Indiana’s Peyton Ramsey found J-Shun Harris for a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it 33-28. Despite a recovered onside kick with less than a minute left, the Hoosiers couldn’t make their way down the field for a touchdown and Penn State held on.
Player of the Game
Trace McSorley | Senior | Quarterback
McSorley was the man on offense despite a slow start, as he came through with two rushing touchdowns. The Penn State quarterback also had over 100 yards on the ground which really made the difference.
Penn State will return home for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Iowa.
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