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No. 8 Penn State Football Falls To Indiana 36-35 In Overtime Heartbreaker

No. 8 Penn State football (0-1) fell to Indiana (1-0) 36-35 in an overtime heartbreaker at Memorial Stadium Saturday.

After falling behind 17-7 in the first half, James Franklin’s squad battled back in the second half to tie it up late in the fourth quarter. After the two teams exchanged touchdowns, the game went to overtime and Indiana prevailed 36-35.

How It Happened

Penn State received the opening kick off after Indiana won the toss and deferred. The Nittany Lions quickly marched the ball down the field, thanks in large part to a Sean Clifford 21-yard competition to Jahan Dotson.

Later in the drive, Clifford found Pat Freiermuth for a two-yard touchdown on fourth down, putting the Nittany Lions up 7-0 with 7:59 remaining in the first quarter.

Penn State’s defense had a dominant first drive, as cornerback Joey Porter Jr. came off the edge and ended the drive with a sack to force a three and out.

The Nittany Lions’ offense followed up with a three and out of their own, giving the ball back to Indiana with 5:19 left in the first quarter.

After forcing another Indiana three and out, Penn State muffed the punt but kept possession after it was deemed that Indiana’s Micah McFadden stepped out of bounds prior to recovering, which is a penalty.

Clifford quickly gave it back to Indiana when he threw his first interception of the season on a pass intended for Devyn Ford.

Indiana picked up a few first downs but was unable to punch it in the end zone. Charles Campbell converted on a 34-yard field goal to cut Penn State’s lead to 7-3 with 12:24 left in the first half.

Following a Penn State three and out, Indiana marched right down the field and scored its first touchdown of the game on a Stevie Scott III 14-yard run. Indiana took a 10-7 lead with 8:12 remaining in the half.

Backed up in his own territory, Clifford threw his second interception of the game, returned by Indiana’s Jamar Johnson to Penn State’s five-yard line. Scott punched it in a few plays later to put the Hoosiers up 17-7.

After both teams traded fumbles, Penn State’s Jake Pinegar missed a 25-yard field goal to end the first half, keeping Indiana’s lead at 17-7.

The Nittany Lions forced Indiana to punt on the opening drive of the second half and followed it up with a 15-play, 7:39 drive that stalled after a questionable offensive pass interference call on Freiermuth. Penn State came away with no points after Pinegar missed another field goal.

Lamont Wade gave the Nittany Lions the ball right back with an interception on the first play of the drive.

On the last play of the third quarter, Clifford ripped off a 35-yard touchdown run to cut the Indiana lead to 17-14. This was the first scoring play for Penn State since the opening drive of the game.

The Nittany Lions forced another turnover but Jesse Luketa was called for targeting, disqualifying him from the game and taking the fumble off the board. Later in the drive, Campbell converted on a 49-yard field goal to give the Hoosiers a 20-14 lead with 13:18 left in the game.

Later in the quarter, Penn State’s offense entered Indiana territory and was stuffed on a fourth and one, giving the ball back to the Hoosiers with under five minutes left in the game. However, Penn State’s defense bailed out the offense and forced another three and out.

On the ensuing drive, Clifford found Jahan Dotson for a 60-yard touchdown to give the Nittany Lions a 21-20 lead with 2:30 left in the game.

Penn State’s defense dominated the next drive, especially Shaka Toney, who tallied two sacks to give Penn State the ball back after Indiana failed to convert on fourth down.

Ford added a touchdown for the Nittany Lions to put them up 28-20. The Hoosiers refused to give up, as they drove all the way down the field and scored a touchdown on a Michael Penix Jr. touchdown run. Penix converted the two-point conversion to tie the game up at 28 with 22 seconds left.

Indiana curiously kicked a squib kick, and the Nittany Lions recovered it at the 49-yard line. Jordan Stout attempted a 57-yard field goal with eight seconds left and it came up just short. Indiana took a knee and the game headed to overtime.

On the first possession of overtime, Clifford found Parker Washington for a nine-yard touchdown, putting the Nittany Lions ahead 35-28. However, Indiana responded with a touchdown of its own to bring the score to 35-34. The Hoosiers attempted a two-point conversion and got it after Penix reached the ball over the goal line.

The play was reviewed, but the play on the field stood and Indiana won the game 36-35.


  • Penn State beat themselves in the first half with three turnovers, all coming from the quarterback position. Sean Clifford threw two interceptions and Will Levis fumbled in the red zone. Indiana took advantage, scoring 10 points off turnovers in the first half. The carelessness with the football is one of the main reasons why Indiana came out on top.
  • The Nittany Lions committed 10 penalties that resulted in 100 yards. In addition to the turnovers, Penn State hurt themselves with multiple penalties that set the team back.
  • Sean Clifford came alive and looked more sharp in the second half and overtime. He tossed two touchdowns late in the game in crucial spots that almost led Penn State to victory.

What’s Next

Penn State will host Ohio State next Saturday at 7:30 p.m in a Halloween showdown at Beaver Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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