WRs Brown, Moseby-Felder step up
UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State clearly missed leading receiver Derek Moye (broken foot), completing just 10-of-23 passes, but two players did their best to pick up the slack in his absence.
Brandon Moseby-Felder, a redshirt sophomore, had a 21-yard reception and a 19-yard grab down to the 1 to set up a TD on PSU's second series.
"With Moye being out, he's like a brother to me," Moseby-Felder said. "It was kind of like it hurt me a little bit. But at the same time, it's time for me to step up and make the plays for my team."
Moye is expected to miss at least one more game after breaking his foot Tuesday when he slipped on stairs in his apartment. He was in street clothes and accompanied the other team captains to midfield for the pregame coin toss.
Moseby-Felder said Moye was helping out on the sideline "coaching me up, telling me what to do, what the safeties are doing, the cornerbacks are doing."
Justin Brown led the Nittany Lions with four catches for 86 yards, including a spectacular one-handed grab from Matt McGloin despite getting interfered with that went for 34 yards early in the fourth quarter.
"No, not at all," Brown said when asked if he's surprised the team is 6-1. "We know that we can be 6-1. We know that we could have probably won that game that we lost [to Alabama] if we could have capitalized on some things. So we know we're a good team, and that's what we have to prove to you guys."
With Moye out, the coaches removed receiver Devon Smith from deep on kickoff returns and replaced him with cornerback Adrian Amos.
Lynn returns to action
Cornerback D'Anton Lynn returned after missing two games with a concussion suffered in week four against Eastern Michigan.
"It was real tough," Lynn said of sitting out. "It was the first two games I've missed since I've been here, so it was hard to watch."
He had hoped to be back last week against Iowa but added, "It was probably smart for me not to."
"Even when I started this game, I was still real timid at first just because I hadn't had full contact," he said. "But as I started playing, I started getting back to my old self."
That took a little while, though.
"Honestly, not until the fourth quarter," Lynn said. "I just needed one good hit, and I finally got a good hit in the fourth quarter."
JoePa spends entire game in press box
Joe Paterno was on the field during pregame warmups but was not able to coach from the sideline and spent the game in the press box.
"Last week, in the first half kids were trying to save me from getting run over, and in the process they would grab me," Paterno said. "It's almost like all over again. My leg hurts and my hip. Nothing serious, it's just that I'm getting to be a sissy in my old age. I can't handle it, and I'm fighting a cold. I just thought it would be better. If I can't move around down there, I get in the way."
Morris on overturned call: 'That's bull'
Penn State cornerback Stephon Morris had a great individual effort defending a pass and forcing a fumble that he recovered and returned for big yardage, only to see the play wiped out on a replay reversal.
"That's bull," Morris said with a laugh.
Purdue quarterback Robert Marve connected with O.J. Ross for what initially looked to be a 37-yard gain down the right sideline late in the first half with PSU leading, 7-6. Morris, returning to action after missing last week with an ankle injury, had tight coverage on Ross and stripped the ball as the receiver brought it down and tried to run.
"I thought it was going to be a perfect pass over the top of his shoulder, so I let him play his hands, and I just ripped the ball out of there," Morris said.
Morris scooped up the fumble and zigzagged his way across the field to the Purdue 19. The officials reviewed the play and overturned it.
"There was no possession," referee Dave Witvoet said. "He didn't complete the catch, and that was before he dropped it."
Catching a break
The Morris play didn't go PSU's way, but the Lions appeared to have caught a break when safety Nick Sukay intercepted a pass from Caleb TerBush late in the third quarter.
Chaz Powell tipped a pass into the air, and Sukay made a diving grab that was ruled an interception. One replay appeared to show the ball hit the ground, but the officials reviewed it and upheld the call on the field.
"We let that stand, because you couldn't tell," Witvoet said.
Sukay said after the game he had not yet seen the replay. He did, however, say the defense didn't have its best day.
"As a defense, we feel that we didn't come to play the way we needed to," Sukay said. "We need to come out with more intensity and just be a sound defense, and that's something we didn't do."
Purdue gives PSU defense good test
The Lions came into the game ranked fourth in the nation in total defense, allowing just 251 yards per game, but the Boilermakers had 344, including 169 on the ground. They were done in by missing a PAT and a 44-yard field goal.
Purdue coach Danny Hope was asked if it was a game of missed opportunities for his team and said, "I think both sides would probably make the same statements."
"We were a heavy underdog [12 points] coming into this stadium for their homecoming, and our team fought hard," Hope said. "We are a lot better football team now than we were in game one, two, three and four."
TerBush completed 12-of-25 passes for 162 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown. Running back Ralph Bolden kept his team in the game with 97 yards on 13 carries, including a 39-yard burst, while Akeem Shavers had 54 yards on 13 carries.
"There's a lot of things to build on," Bolden said. "The offense needs to focus on putting the ball in the end zone instead of settling for field goals."
Huntingdon's Gibboney on Purdue staff
Penn State does not have one designated special teams coach, which for years has been a point of frustration for fans, while Huntingdon native and former Pitt kicker J.B. Gibboney handles those duties for Purdue.
Gibboney, 29, was on the staff at Eastern Kentucky in 2006 and '07 under Hope. Gibboney was a graduate assistant with the Boilermakers in 2008, then became the special teams coordinator in 2009.
(Compiled by Cory Giger)