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No. 10 Penn State Football Survives Indiana 33-24

No. 10 Penn State football (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) survived an upset bid by the Indiana Hoosiers (2-6, 0-5 Big Ten) 33-24 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Indiana jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, but Penn State overcame the deficit to take a 17-14 lead heading into the half. The Nittany Lions expanded their lead to 24-14 in the third quarter, but the Hoosiers came storming back to make it 24-24 in the fourth quarter after Drew Allar threw his first-ever collegiate interception. Penn State regained the lead with a late KeAndre Lambert-Smith touchdown, and a safety on the next play made it 33-24 and closed out the game.

How It Happened

Indiana began the game’s inaugural drive at the 25-yard line. Brendan Sorsby’s incompletion was followed by a five-yard gain by Josh Henderson, but Donaven McCulley couldn’t make the catch on the next play to hand the Hoosiers a three-and-out.

Nick Singleton began Penn State’s first drive with his own five-yard rush, but he only gained one yard on the next play to set up 3rd-and-4 at the 33-yard line. Drew Allar completed a five-yard pass to Theo Johnson, giving the Nittany Lions a fresh set of downs. Consecutive receptions by Singleton set up a short 3rd-and-2, but he was stuffed on the T-formation on the next play and Penn State punted the ball away.

Riley Thompson’s punt pinned the Hoosiers at the eight-yard line. Indiana false-started on the first play, as the student section reached a crescendo right behind them. Sorsby’s four-yard rush looked for a moment as if it could be enough for a first down, but he was pushed out of bounds by Kevin Winston Jr. and the Hoosiers had a second three-and-out.

Singleton rushed for four yards and fumbled on the play, but Trey Wallace recovered the ball. He rushed for another four yards, but Wallace couldn’t reel the ball in as he was tackled and Penn State punted again.

Starting at the 10-yard line, Sorsby threw a quick lob pass to Andre Carter. Carter caught it and ran all the way down the field for a 90-yard touchdown to put the Hoosiers up 7-0 with 7:37 to go in the first quarter.

Allar attempted a deep pass up the middle to KeAndre Lambert-Smith, but he was too late and couldn’t make the catch. Kaytron Allen only gained two yards on the next play, and Allar was sacked by Lanell Carr for a six-yard loss to end the drive, much to the frustration of the Beaver Stadium crowd.

However, Indiana muffed the punt at their own 32-yard line, which was recovered by Winston. Allen rushed for a loss of one yard, but then Allar bodied and bulldozed his way to a 3rd-and-1. Penn State unsuccessfully attempted the tush push the first time but pulled it off the second time to refresh the downs. Allen got another one-yard gain, then Dante Cephas made a five-yard reception to set up 3rd-and-4. Allen’s reception set up 4th-and-2, but Allar found a wide-open Khalil Dinkins in the end zone to tie the game 7-7 with 1:37 left in the opening quarter.

Two Hoosier runs set up 3rd-and-3. Sorsby threw an incomplete pass, and Indiana punted. Daequan Hardy returned it for a touchdown, but Penn State was called for an illegal block in the back.

The Penn State offense started at the 10-yard line as a result of the flag. Allar fired a 21-yard pass to Tyler Warren, which ended the first quarter. He threw an incompletion, and Singleton was tackled for a three-yard loss on the next play to bring up 3rd-and-13. The offensive woes continued, though, as Allar threw a quick pass to Singleton again, but he was tackled for a two-yard loss and Penn State punted.

Then, the Hoosiers struck again. Sorsby found a wide-open McCulley, who ran 69 yards to give Indiana a 14-7 lead with 13:26 left in the second quarter.

Singleton received the kickoff and ran all the way to the 50-yard line, nearly breaking free. Two runs only got Penn State one yard, but Allar fired a 16-yard pass to Lambert-Smith to give the Nittany Lions a first down. Allen ripped a nine-yard run, his longest of the afternoon thus far. Allar’s scramble for a first down was called back due to an offensive holding penalty, bringing up 2nd-and-11. He was hurried by Jacob Mangum-Farrar, and Lambert-Smith dropped another pass. Alex Felkins attempted a 51-yard attempt, but it sailed wide to keep the score 14-7.

Indiana began the drive at its own 34-yard line. Henderson ripped a five-yard run, and Hardy’s missed tackle allowed Carter to gain 11 yards on the catch. However, Jaylin Lucas was tackled by Jaylen Reed for a loss of five yards to bring up 3rd-and-14. Omar Cooper made the catch, but he was forced out of bounds at the 47-yard line. However, despite missing the snap, Sorsby recovered and completed a three-yard pass to Trent Howland, who danced around the Penn State defense and reached a first down at the 40-yard line. After a further review, however, the officials ruled that Howland was short of the line to gain, resulting in a turnover on downs.

Penn State took over at the 41-yard line. Singleton gained 15 yards over the first three plays, but an offensive pass interference call set Penn State back to 2nd-and-20. His productive day continued, as he caught a 28-yard pass to reach Indiana’s 31-yard line. Two rushes by Singleton and Allen set up 3rd-and-3, but Warren a pass interference call against the Hoosiers put Penn State at the nine-yard line. From the two-yard line, the ‘T’ formation worked successfully this time, and Singleton barreled his way into the end zone to tie the game 14-14 with 2:02 left in the half.

Sorsby’s 10-yard pass was completed to Bradley Archer. Then, a late hit by Kobe King brought the Hoosiers across midfield to the 48-yard line. However, the drive ended tumultuously for Indiana. Sorsby’s pass was intercepted by Reed, who took it to the Hoosiers’ 43-yard line.

Allar’s pass to Lambert-Smith and a gain by Allen set up 3rd-and-2 for Penn State. After finding Lambert-Smith again, Allar scrambled out of bounds to bring up 2nd-and-4. Facing pressure, Allar tossed two incompletions to bring up fourth down. An intentional grounding call moved the ball back to the 32-yard line, and Felkins’ attempt gave Penn State a 17-14 lead to end the half.

Allen ripped consecutive eight-yard gains to begin the second half. He ripped a 12-yard gain three plays later, bodying his way through the defense. It was Allen again three plays later, as he only managed a two-yard gain to bring up 2nd-and-8. Allar scrambled for a 10-yard gain to Indiana’s 18-yard line, and two plays later, he struck again. Allar threw it to Theo Johnson, who got around Josh Sanguinetti to make a leaping catch in the end zone, giving Penn State a 24-14 lead with 8:39 to go in the third quarter.

Consecutive rushes by Howland gave Indiana a quick first down. Then, Sorsby found McCulley for a 12-yard completion, putting the Hoosiers into Penn State territory. The offense stayed on the field on 4th-and-3 three plays later, and Sorsby rushed four yards to pick up the first down. Cooper then caught a 15-yard pass to reach Penn State’s 16-yard line, and another Sorsby rush brought up third down. But then Hardy, who came from seemingly out of nowhere, sacked him for a nine-yard loss. Indiana’s field goal attempt was unsuccessful, and the score remained 24-14.

After a Penn State three-and-out, Indiana was back in business. The Hoosiers reached third down, but Sorsby quickly fired a nine-yard pass to McCulley to refresh the downs, ending the third quarter. Indiana overcame a false start and a sack, as Sorsby fired a five-yard pass to EJ Williams. Then, Henderson’s 11-yard run gave Indiana a first down three plays later. Then, three plays later, Sorsby connected with Cooper for a touchdown with 10:54 left in the fourth quarter, and Indiana cut the lead to 24-21.

Allen’s consecutive rushes gave Penn State the first down. Then, two plays later, Allar was sacked to bring up 3rd-and-12. He completed a 10-yard pass to Cephas, and Thompson came on to punt.

The Hoosiers quickly found themselves at 3rd-and-2. With the Beaver Stadium crowd at peak noise levels, Howland was stopped short of the line to gain and Indiana punted.

Penn State started from the 12-yard line. Allar threw it away while being hurried, and Singleton’s two-yard gain brought up third down. Then, disaster struck for Allar, as he threw it right to Sanguinetti at Penn State’s own 21-yard line. It was both Allar’s and Indiana’s first interception of the year.

Henderson’s three rushes were not enough, and Indiana found itself on fourth down. The Hoosiers successfully kicked a field goal to tie the game 24-24 with 2:58 left in regulation.

Penn State started its drive at the 22-yard line. To begin the drive, Allar fired a pass to Allen for a first down, which was followed by a 10-yard rush by Allen. Then, Allar threw a dot downfield and found Lambert-Smith, caught it, and took it to the house for a 57-yard touchdown, giving Penn State a much-needed score and a 31-24 lead with 1:46 to go.

Indiana started the drive at the 25-yard line, with the Beaver Stadium crowd reaching boisterous levels. Sorsby dropped back and fumbled the ball, which rolled all the way into the end zone, and Penn State got a safety to take a 33-24 lead with 1:33 left.

The onside kick attempt was recovered by Warren at the 34-yard line. From there, Penn State ran the clock down and won 33-24.


  • Allar had another outing with mixed results. The sophomore threw 210 passing yards and three touchdowns while maintaining a 65% completion rate. He threw his first-ever collegiate interception late in the game, which led to Indiana tying it on a field goal, but his 57-yard touchdown pass the next drive was simply incredible.
  • The slow start once again proved to be problematic. By failing to score on the first three drives, the Nittany Lions fell behind while the Hoosiers played well. It almost cost Penn State the game, as Indiana was competitive late into the fourth quarter.
  • The first two touchdowns were atrocious. The receiver was wide-open both times, and the defense was simply exposed. That’s probably the worst moment all season for Manny Diaz’s group, and it nearly cost Penn State the game.
  • The last few minutes of the game were incredible to watch, but getting into a shootout with Indiana isn’t a good look. This should’ve been an easy win for Penn State, but today’s game is more evidence of the snowball effect.

What’s Next

Penn State heads south to take on the Maryland Terrapins with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, at SECU Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The game will be televised on FOX.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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