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No. 4 Penn State Shuts Out Indiana 24-0

No. 4 Penn State football (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) shut out Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) 24-0 Saturday night in this year’s Stripe Out at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions came out flying all over the field defensively and shut down the Hoosiers the entire game. Penn State’s offense wasn’t always pretty, but it got the job done thanks to a solid running game and some flashy plays through the air.

With this win, Penn State now heads into next Saturday’s highly anticipated matchup against Iowa undefeated.

How It Happened

Penn State won the coin toss and elected to defer its choice to the second half, giving Michael Penix Jr. and Indiana’s offense the ball to start. Brent Pry’s defense forced the Hoosiers to go three and out on the opening drive, and the Nittany Lions took over at their own 24-yard line.

Noah Cain got the ball moving on the first play of the drive to the tune of nine yards. After Clifford scrambled for a first down, the offense stalled, which brought on Jordan Stout to punt.

The Hoosiers got their offense moving on the ensuing drive, as Penix connected with Peyton Hendershot for a 35-yard gain on third down. However, Penn State’s defense held strong to force a James Evans punt.

Mike Yurcich’s offense began firing on the next drive. After Clifford scrambled 13 yards for a first down, back-to-back completions to Jahan Dotson and KeAndre Lambert-Smith moved the Nittany Lions past midfield. A few plays later, on 4th and 7, Clifford threw a strike to Parker Washington to convert and keep the drive going.

On the 13th play of the drive, Clifford escaped pressure and found Brenton Strange for a 10-yard touchdown to put Penn State ahead 7-0 with 5:28 left in the quarter.

After Indiana went three and out, Clifford made his first big mistake of the season. The signal-caller was intercepted on a pass intended for Parker Washington over the middle, and the Hoosiers took over at Penn State’s 13-yard line. Going for it on 4th and 1, Stephen Carr was stuffed short of the line to gain, giving the ball back to Penn State.

Keyvone Lee got the Nittany Lions moving right away, picking up 44 yards on a run up the middle all the way to Indiana’s 44-yard line. The first quarter ended with Penn State driving at the Hoosiers’ 34-yard line. A few plays later, Lee carried the ball for 21 yards all the way down to Indiana’s four-yard line.

Following a Brenton Strange touchdown that was called back due to a penalty, Clifford connected with Dotson from eight yards out to put Penn State up 14-0 with 13:31 until halftime.

Each team punted twice, and Indiana took possession at its own 11-yard line with 5:53 left in the half. The Hoosiers finally got it going offensively on this drive, folks. After an 18-yard completion to Hendershot, Penix found Miles Marshall deep down the field for 34 yards to set Indiana up at Penn State’s 33-yard line.

However, on the next play, Joey Porter Jr. intercepted Penix’s pass intended for Ty Fryfogle to give the ball back to the Nittany Lions.

Both offenses would stall from there, and the game went into halftime with Penn State still up 14-0.

The Nittany Lions started the second half with a Clifford and Dotson pitch-and-catch for a first down. That’s all they would get on the opening drive, as Indiana forced Stout to punt it away.

Penix was injured on the next Indiana drive, and Jack Tuttle took over at quarterback. After an Indiana punt, Penn State took over at its own 39-yard line.

The Nittany Lions picked up two first downs on their ensuing drive, and then faced a 4th and 4 on Indiana’s 30-yard line. Penn State went for it, Clifford found Dotson underneath, and the wideout took it all the way to the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to put Penn State ahead 21-0 with 4:16 left in the third quarter.

To their credit, the Hoosiers didn’t go away quietly. Back-to-back passes of 20+ yards set Indiana up inside Penn State’s 20-yard line. Penn State’s defense held strong, and Indiana’s Charles Campbell came on to attempt a 30-yard field goal. The kick was blocked by Brandon Smith to keep the Hoosiers off the board heading into the fourth quarter.

Clifford found Lambert-Smith for 17 yards to open the quarter, and then Dotson completed a pass (yes, you read that right) to Washington for a 21-yard gain.

Later in the drive, Clifford scrambled for 18 yards down to Indiana’s six-yard line. Four plays later, on 4th and 1, Lee was stuffed for no gain, and the Hoosiers regained possession.

After an Indiana punt, Jordan Stout drilled a 50-yard field goal to extend Penn State’s lead to 24-0 with 8:06 left in the game. On Indiana’s next drive, Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted Tuttle’s pass to keep the Hoosiers off the board with 5:28 left in the game.

Ta’Quan Roberson checked in at quarterback on the ensuing drive, giving Clifford the rest of the night off. The game would stay 24-0 the rest of the way, and the Nittany Lions advanced to 5-0.

Takeaways

  • Fourth home game in a row? No problem. A Stripe Out crowd of 105,951 was in attendance to watch the Nittany Lions’ fourth consecutive home game. There was no let up from the raucous crowd, as Penn State was certainly able to feed off the crowd all game long.
  • Penn State’s defense is really good and really fast. The group pitched a shutout Saturday night as it continued to build on its dominant season. The Nittany Lions completely shut down Indiana’s rushing attack, as the Hoosiers ran the ball just 24 times for 69 yards. That’s just 2.9 per carry, man. Additionally, Brent Pry’s defense forced two turnovers, as Ji’Ayir Brown and Joey Porter each picked off a pass.
  • Here’s your weekly reminder that Jahan Dotson is an incredible football player. He balled out Saturday night with eight catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, he also completed a pass for 21 yards. He can seriously do it all.

What’s Next

Penn State will head to Iowa City next Saturday to take on Iowa at 4 p.m. at Kinnick Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FOX.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly 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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