The Penn State Nittany Lions survived an early scare after Indiana tied the game at 24-24 in the third quarter and had to rely on a punt block, which resulted in a touchdown by James Van Fleet , to spark their offense in the second half.
Joe Paterno, who earned his 400th victory last week against Northwestern, secured his 401st win today at FedEx field, the home of the Washington Redskins.
“I was concerned that we had a good lead, and we let them back in the ballgame,” said Paterno.
The long-time coach can thank Matt McGloin for the victory. The sophomore quarterback, who made just his third career start against the Hoosiers, threw for 315 yards, a career-high, and two scores on 22 completions. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a kid that took over the starting job three weeks back from freshman Rob Bolden, and more impressive was the fact that he did it in an NFL stadium.
Speaking of Bolden, he threw just two passes today for a total of 10 yards. With McGloin leading Penn State to a 3-1 record since he entered against Michigan, Bolden’s status appears to be as the backup to McGloin for the remainder of the season.
Evan Royster, a native of Washington D.C and Penn State’s all-time leading rusher, accumulated 49 yards on 16 carries, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a two-yard run. However, the heir apparent to Royster, freshman Silas Redd, led the team with 50 rushing yards on nine carries and scored on a one-yard run to cap off Penn State’s scoring.
Indiana, who was embarrassed last weekend against Wisconsin with a final score of 83-20, stayed with Penn State for three quarters but eventually ran out of gas. Quarterback Ben Chappell, who left last week’s game against the Badgers with a hip injury, bounced-back nicely, throwing for 234 yards on 22-of-41 passing. He connected with Terrance Turner on a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Tandon Doss for a three-yard touchdown in the third quarter (the final touchdown of the game for Indiana).
One thing that I have to credit Indiana for is their discipline. They survived the whole game without surrendering a penalty, whereas Penn State compiled five penalties for 34 yards.
The Hoosiers also had success on the run, but decided to rely on the arm of Chappell down the stretch. On just 21 attempts, Indiana ran for 91 yards (4.3 yards per rush). Doss led the team in rushing with 61 yards on five carries and also led the team in receiving with seven receptions for 90 yards.
Penn State, on the other hand, ran the ball 42 times for 171 yards (4.1 yards per rush). There was 13 different Nittany Lions who ran the ball at least once, while Indiana had six different players carry the ball.
The Nittany Lions move to 7-4 (4-3) and sit in fifth place behind the four ranked Big Ten teams (Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa). With the loss, Indiana’s hope for a bowl bid diminished with just one game remaining and are stuck in the basement of the Big Ten with a record of 4-7 (0-7).
Penn State has now won every game in the series (14-0) against Indiana dating back to 1992.