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No. 12 Penn State Football Takes Down Rutgers 27-6

No. 12 Penn State football (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) defeated Rutgers (6-5 overall, 3-5 Big Ten) 27-6 Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

It was a low-scoring first half. Rutgers took an early 3-0 lead, but Penn State rallied to go up 10-3 before the Scarlet Knights made it 10-6 to end the half. Penn State built on the lead in the second half, with a field goal and a Kaytron Allen touchdown putting it ahead 20-6 early in the fourth quarter. A late-game touchdown from Beau Pribula, who came in for an injured Drew Allar, sealed the game at 27-6.

How It Happened

After the pregame ceremonies honoring Penn State’s senior class, the Nittany Lions received the opening kickoff. Drew Allar tossed a three-yard pass to Theo Johnson, and the game was underway from Beaver Stadium. Two plays later, though, Tyler Warren dropped a pass on third down and the offense went three-and-out on its first drive.

Kyle Monangai rushed for two yards to begin Rutgers’ inaugural drive. Then, Gavin Wimsatt fired a 13-yard pass to Isaiah Washington. Two minuscule Monangai carries brought up 3rd-and-10, but Wimsatt scrambled for 22 yards all the way to Penn State’s 41-yard line. The big plays continued, as JaQuae Jackson made a 16-yard reception. Wimsatt scrambled again, with an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-6 three plays later. However, with the help of an offensive holding penalty, the drive stalled. Jai Patel’s field goal attempt was successful, which gave the Scarlet Knights a 3-0 lead with 4:43 left in the first quarter.

Starting at the 25-yard line after the return, Kaytron Allen gained only two yards. Then, Allar scrambled nine yards for a first down. Facing 3rd-and-5 three plays later, he completed a seven-yard pass to Johnson to extend the drive. On 3rd-and-5 again, Liam Clifford made a 15-yard catch to bring it to Rutgers’ 32-yard line to end the first quarter. After nearly hitting Dante Cephas in the end zone, Allar rushed 11 yards to inch even closer to scoring, and three Allen gains made it 1st-and-goal. Then, Allen barreled into the end zone to give Penn State a 7-3 lead with 11:36 left in the second quarter.

Monangai answered with a nine-yard gain. Then, Wimsatt fumbled at the 32-yard line, which Dani Dennis-Sutton recovered.

Allar threw a 23-yard dot to Warren on the first play. The Nittany Lions then found themselves facing 3rd-and-goal from the four-yard line after two handoffs to Nick Singleton. Allar’s pass to Cephas was incomplete, and Alex Felkins’ field goal attempt made it 10-3 with 8:44 left in the half.

The Scarlet Knights offense quickly reached 4th-and-1, but the offense remained on the field. With the Beaver Stadium crowd hitting a crescendo, Rutgers false-started and punted the ball away.

Starting at the 35-yard line, Singleton rushed for two yards on two carries to bring up 3rd-and-6. Allar, with time and space, fired a 25-yard dot to Omari Evans, which put them at Rutgers’ 36-yard line. Then, disaster struck for Singleton, who fumbled the ball into the Scarlet Knights’ possession.

However, it was another three-and-out for Rutgers, as neither of its three rushing plays amounted to enough yards.

Rutgers’ punt landed at the three-yard line, though. Penn State’s already shaky offense once again sputtered for another three-and-out.

Wimsatt completed a 19-yard pass to Christian Dremel. Then, he found Ian Strong for 15-yard completion. Two plays later, Wimsatt connected with Washington to make it 1st-and-goal at the six-yard line. However, Wimsatt threw two incompletions and Rutgers settled for a field goal to make it 10-6 to end the half.

Rashad Rochelle returned it to the 33-yard line to open the second half. The drive went nowhere, as only four yards were gained before the Scarlet Knights punted it away.

Allar quickly ran for a first down. However, he exited the game after taking a big hit to the shoulder, and Beau Pribula entered. Pribula dashed for 39 yards all the way to the 13-yard line. Allen rushed to the seven-yard line, and then the five-yard line to set up 3rd-and-2. Pribula’s tush push was short of the line to gain, and on 4th-and-1, the same play was once again short.

Starting at the four-yard line, Monangai gained two yards. He was dropped back for a loss of five yards, which brought up 3rd-and-11. Wimsatt’s deep pass attempt was incomplete, handing his offense a three-and-out.

Pribula remained in the game for the next drive. Two runs by Singleton and Pribula quickly brought up 3rd-and-6. Singleton’s rush made it 4th-and-inches. The offense opted for a field goal attempt rather than trying its luck after what happened on the previous drive, which ended up giving Penn State a 13-6 lead with 5:32 left in the third quarter.

The Scarlet Knights struggled to begin their drive. Wimsatt rushed for six yards only to be sacked for that same amount on the next play. On 3rd-and-10, though, he connected with Washington on an 11-yard pass. The duo reconnected two plays later for an eight-yard gain, which moved the ball across midfield to the 49-yard line. But then, the tides turned as Chop Robinson forced a strip-sack which he recovered.

Penn State took over at Rutgers’ 43-yard line. Pribula, faking a handoff to Allen, scrambled 11 yards. Then, Allen danced through a gap and made a 21-yard gain all the way to the six-yard line. Then, two plays later, he pounded the ball into the end zone to give Penn State a 20-6 lead with 14:14 left in the fourth quarter.

However, Rutgers’ offense got rolling. Monangai rushed up the middle for eight yards on 3rd-and-1, then Wimsatt hit Strong for a 19-yard completion two plays later to put the ball at Penn State’s 34-yard line. The Scarlet Knights encountered difficulties and ended up facing 4th-and-1, but a tush push got the job done to extend the drive. However, after a false start penalty, Wimsatt was sacked by Abdul Carter for a loss of seven yards. Then, on 3rd-and-22, KJ Winston picked him off to turn the ball over.

Singleton ripped a 20-yard gain to open the drive. The play was followed by a 15-yard Pribula rush, and Singleton had a nine-yard gain. Two more touchdowns from Singleton put Penn State on the one-yard line on 2nd-and-goal. Pribula found the end zone after picking up his own fumble and essentially sealing the game with Penn State’s 26th point.

Penn State’s defense held Rutgers on the last drive of the game, as the Nittany Lions’ backups sealed the deal.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s offense just didn’t show up enough. While that’s understandable without an offensive coordinator, this has been a recurring issue all season. The group got it done with 322 total yards and three touchdowns but dropped passes and fumbles ensured it only did so by the skin of its teeth. 
  • Allen had a nice outing. The sophomore rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns, which led all players. It was his third multi-touchdown game of his career. He’s continuing to make his case to be Penn State’s primary running back.
  • The Nittany Lions lost Allar in the third quarter, who left with an apparent injury. Pribula came in, had 71 rushing yards, and consistently moved the ball downfield, which set up scoring plays. With today’s performance, the sophomore has continued to prove he’s capable of stepping up when needed for the Nittany Lions.
  • Although the offense played poorly, the defense’s three turnovers were a big deal. The Scarlet Knights played well all day, and the two fumble recoveries might’ve been enough to kill momentum and in change, give Penn State’s offense something to feed off of. Winston’s interception in the fourth quarter killed what appeared to be a promising Rutgers drive, which helped the team even more.

What’s Next

Penn State concludes its regular season against Michigan State at 7:30 p.m. on Black Friday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. The game will be televised on NBC.

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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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