BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana beat Penn St. in Bloomington two years ago. Things were very different today.
After a tightly-played first quarter, No. 16 Penn St. (7-2, 4-2 B1G) dominated Indiana (3-6, 1-5 B1G), 45-14.
Coming off a bye, the Hoosiers faced off against Nittany Lions in 20 MPH winds on Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers entered the game on a five-game losing streak. The Nittany Lions fell at home to the Ohio State Buckeyes last week.
Jack Tuttle took snaps from OL Zach Carpenter during warmups, and that was the starting QB/center combination for the first time this year. This change occurred after Allen’s comment about “evaluating everything” following a road loss to Rutgers.
Overthrown passes and under-kicked punts were largely a result of the first-half winds.
IU’s defense made a presence early with two quick pressures including a huge third down sack from OLB Alfred Bryant, forcing a Penn State punt. However, Penn State was the first to strike later in the quarter after a 54-yard drive, ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Nick Singleton.
The Hoosiers responded with an 8-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, led by Tuttle who showed off his arm on a 35-yard pass to Andison Coby. Tuttle also used his legs with a 15-yard run to keep the drive alive. Tuttle’s strike down the seam to AJ Barner found the end zone.
Shortly after the Nittany Lions took over, Hoosiers DB Tiawan Mullen picked off QB Sean Clifford. Even though IU was in the red zone, the PSU defense consistently pushed the back, forcing negative plays and quarterback sacks. IU had the ball at the PSU 19; ultimately, they could not capitalize and punted on 4th and 35.
Tuttle showed IU what it has been missing on offense: an efficient quarterback. He started 6/6 and used his legs to keep the PSU defense off-balance. Then, a big hit from Dvon Ellies resulted in an injury to Tuttle’s shoulder area. True freshman Brendan Sorsby took over for the Hoosiers.
IU’s defense forced three PSU punts, but Kaytron Allen and Singleton’s ground game and combined were too much for the Hoosiers to handle. Their three combined rushing scores led to a 24-7 halftime lead for Penn State.
The second half started with an IU punt and a Sorsby interception. This turnover set up the Nittany Lions for a third Allen rushing touchdown. Allen covered 56 of the 96 yards rushing on the drive.
Penn State backup quarterback Drew Allar made an appearance midway through the third quarter. Clifford finished 15/23 with 229 yards and the interception.
Tom Allen then called on Dexter Williams to take the first snaps of his career. Williams suffered an ACL injury in spring practice in 2021 and made his collegiate debut on Saturday. Williams drove the Hoosiers down the field late in the 3rd quarter, but DE Dani Dennis-Sutton intercepted Williams to end the series.
Penn State drove down the field and scored their 5th touchdown of the game early in the 4th quarter. Allar found WR Harrison Wallace for a 1-yard touchdown pass giving the Nittany Lions an overwhelming 38-7 lead. Theo Johnson found the end zone later, giving PSU a 45-7 lead.
Williams and the Hoosiers worked down the field into the red zone for the fourth time. Jaylin Lucas scored on a 1-yard rush up the middle to give IU its second score of the game and Lucas his second career touchdown (first from scrimmage).
The Hoosiers cycled through three quarterbacks, none of which were Connor Bazelak, who did not dress for the game. The Hoosiers were starstruck by Penn State’s imposing talent, coupled with IU’s own disappointing offensive performance.
Indiana heads to CFP contender Ohio St. next week to take on Heisman contender C.J. Stroud, as well as Marvin Harrison Jr., J.T. Tuimoloau, TreVeyon Henderson, and others. Time and TV have yet to be determined. Ohio St.
Photo by Penn State Football