Wild finish turns against Penn State in 36-35 OT loss at Indiana

Hoosiers win on controversial 2-point conversion

The Associated Press / Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) goes in for a touchdown as he is tackled by Penn State's Lamont Wade (38) during the second half in Bloomington, Ind. on Saturday.

If Penn State can duplicate Saturday’s season-opening game at Indiana, it’s going to be one entertaining season.

Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, they were beaten 36-35 on a controversial 2-point conversion play in overtime in which Hoosier quarterback Michael Penix Jr. stretched the ball to the pylon, and officials — after review — confirmed the conversion good.

The ball appeared to graze the out of bounds line moments before it hit the pylon, but the ruling stood.

James Franklin said he had not seen a clear replay and didn’t criticize the call.

Penn State took a 7-0 on its first possession but fell behind 17-7 at halftime, thanks to three turnovers, including a pair of Sean Clifford interceptions.

But Clifford led the Lions back to a 21-20 lead with 2:30 remaining, and after the Lions had a first down at the IU 14 with 1:47 left and Indiana down to one timeout, PSU’s Devyn Ford scored a touchdown that the Hoosiers purposely allowed.

Instead of taking three knees there to milk the clock, Penn State’s score permitted IU enough time to drive the field for a touchdown that cut the lead to 28-26 and a 2-point conversion on a Penix run, which he converted, forcing overtime.

Franklin took the blame for the lack of time management, saying, “It’s my job to make sure everybody understands,” the situation, although he didn’t want to pin the blame on Ford or any one play.

“Our attention to detail wasn’t great,” tight end Pat Freiermuth said. “We’ve had a hundred meetings and a hundred walk-throughs. We’ve got to do better.”

Concerning the situation, Freiermuth added, “We talked about it, but it goes back to the whole offense didn’t execute the details. I’m disappointed in how the whole offense played today.”

Generally, Franklin pointed to the turnovers (PSU made three) and penalties (10 for 100 yards).

“We didn’t play well, and they did,” Franklin said.

Penn State, which entered the game ranked No. 8, hosts Ohio State on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium (7:30 p.m. kickoff).

Indiana’s victory broke a 42-game losing streak to ranked teams dating back to 1987.

The Mirror will have much more in its new free “Lion Online” newsletter that will be emailed Sunday at noon. Readers can sign up at bit.ly/2SAy1J4.

Penn State Extra, a full page of Nittany Lions’ coverage, will appear in Monday’s print edition.


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