UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After a tough fight in Beaver Stadium, Indiana (7-3, 4-3) lost, 34-27, for the first time since September against a top-10 Penn State (9-1, 6-1) team trying to stay in the CFP race. In a game full of miscues, touchdowns, and controversy, Indiana played strong, but injuries and a tough road environment were too much for this young, improving Indiana team.
Indiana came out of the gate in a loud, packed stadium to make a statement with an impressive stop against the Nittany Lions resulting in a three-and-out, but shortly after this some major turnovers started to occur for the Hoosiers, both by star WR Whop Philyor.
Penn State QB Sean Clifford was the most effective weapon for Penn State in today’s contest. They relied on his arm to make a quick touchdown for Penn State off the Philyor turnover and then again made a big play on his feet near the end of the first quarter on a 38=yard run for a TD.
However, Clifford was out-shined by Ramsey who went 31 for 41 with a touchdown through the air and two on the ground. Despite Philyor being out most the game, Ramsey was able to spread the ball around quite well hitting nearly 10 different targets with over 300 yards on the game.
Both teams suffered losses to arguably their most important offensive weapons. Philyor was taken off the field after a tough, double hit to his head early in the second quarter that also led to his second turnover for the game. Social media did not react well to the no-call for potential targeting. The injury was a big loss for the Hoosiers, but Penn State also lost their key target KJ Hamler in the first quarter, potentially as a concussion precaution. Hamler was brought down mid-air on a kick return and he would also not return for the rest of the game.
Overall, the Hoosiers defense proved that they can face big time teams on the road with an overall strong defensive outing and creating a turnover on a stripped ball from Clifford when he was approaching the end zone early in the game. They still have much room to improve to make the game easier for their offense though. The biggest issue early in the game was their inability to stop big plays, giving up multiple large yardage gains that set the Nittany Lions up for quick points.
Indiana had several crucial miscues with 12 men being on the field twice. Tom Allen was not happy with this as well as he was warned by the referees for encroaching on the field. The fake punt in the second half was another poorly designed play that made it more difficult for Indiana to catch up.
Despite not winning on the road to Penn State, Indiana proved they can keep up with top teams in the Big Ten and they are for real. They have matured and progressed remarkably under Tom Allen this season and their young team will continue to develop into being a force in the conference for the foreseeable future.
Next Up for Indiana
Indiana returns home to play another tough opponent, the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines who blew out the Michigan State Spartans, 44-10, and now have a 8-2, 5-2 B1G record. The game will be played at 3:30 EST on ABC or ESPN.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ