Rudel’s PSU Highs and Lows
Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 36-35 overtime loss to Indiana on Saturday at Memorial Stadium:
Play of the game: IU quarterback Michael Penix’s incredible 2-point conversion in which he outraced Jaquan Brisker to the corner and, fully extended, stretched the ball out to graze the pylon for the decisive points. It appeared the bottom tip of the ball may have been out of bounds, but after replay, the call stood.
Offensive player of the game: Truly, there was no one standout statistically. Penix completed 19 of 36 passes for 170 yards. However, after the Hoosiers fell behind 28-20 with 1:42 left, he completed his last seven passes and ran in a pair of 2-point conversions.
Defensive player of the game: Indiana safety Jamar Johnson made 10 tackles, including seven solos, to go with an interception (17-yard return) and a forced fumble.
Most telling statistic: Penn State committed 10 penalties for 100 yards compared with IU’s four for 36.
Most deceiving statistic: The Lions ran 87 plays to Indiana’s 62 and dominated time of possession, 40:25-19:35.
Hidden statistic: PSU was 0-for-3 in field goals.
Best run: Sean Clifford scrambled for a weaving 35-yard touchdown on the last play of the third quarter, cutting Indiana’s lead to 17-14.
Best pass: Penix’s 9-yard touchdown on third-and-goal to Whop Philyar in overtime.
Worst pass(es): Up 7-0 with good field position, Clifford floated a screen that was well overthrown and intercepted by J. Williams, nipping the Nits’ early momentum. He then overshot Pat Freiermuth in the second quarter, and Johnson returned the pick to PSU’s 4, setting up the TD that gave Indiana a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.
Best catch: Freiermuth reeled in a one-handed catch in the third quarter.
Catch it, will ya: Freiermuth dropped a second-quarter pass right in his gut. One play later, Clifford was intercepted by Johnson over the middle going for Freiermuth. Daniel George also dropped one.
Hold it, won’t ya: Will Levis fumbled away a PSU drive on third-and-1 at the Indiana 7 late in the second quarter.
Get out of the way, please: With PSU up 7-0, Marquis Wilson drifted into Lion returner Jahan Dotson, causing a fumble that the Hoosiers recovered.
Best tackle: Joey Porter Jr. blitzed off the corner on third-and-long to dump Penix for a 9-yard loss on IU’s first series, forcing a punt.
Best kick: Indiana’s Charles Campbell nailed a 49-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, shoving the Hoosiers’ lead to 20-14.
Worst kick: Jake Pinegar clanged a 25-yard field goal off the left upright. He added a miss from 47 in the third quarter.
Worst penalty: Special teams gunner Drew Hartlaub ran into the IU returner in the first quarter, costing 15 yards.
Best call: On fourth-and-goal from the Indiana 2, new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca dialed up a play-action dump to a wide-open Freiermuth to open the scoring.
Worst call: Rather than have Ford score with 1:42 left, giving PSU a 28-20 lead, three knees would have iced a 21-20 win.
Worst decision: Down 10-7, instead of taking a touchback, Wade bobbled a kickoff return, decided to go east-west and was snowed under at the PSU 5 midway through the second quarter
Best effort: Lion defensive end Shaka Toney made seven tackles, including two late sacks.
Unsung hero: Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden made 11 tackles – all solos.