PSU-Indiana highlights, lowlights
UNIVERSITY PARK — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 34-27 victory over Indiana on Saturday at Beaver Stadium:
Play of the game: Trailing 20-14 at its 44 with 10:58 remaining in the third quarter, Indiana faked a punt on fourth-and-1, and it was snowed under. The Hoosiers never recovered as two plays later, Penn State’s Journey Brown rushed 35 yards for a touchdown that extended the Lions’ lead to 27-14.
Offensive player of the game: Brown rushed 21 times for 100 yards and the TD.
Defensive player of the game: Micah Parsons made seven tackles, forced a fumble, broke up a pass and was credited with a quarterback hurry.
Most telling statistic: Penn State chewed up 75 yards on 18 plays and melted 9:01 off the clock on its final touchdown drive.
Most deceiving statistic: Indiana passed for 371 yards, completing 31-of-41, and 16 first downs.
Hidden statistic: Not counting sacks, Penn State got 76 yards rushing on 13 carries out of its quarterback position (Sean Clifford and Will Levis).
Best run: Clifford ran 38 yards for a touchdown to give the Lions a 17-14 lead late in the first quarter.
Best pass: IU quarterback Peyton Ramsey found Ty Fryfogle for 46 yards to the Penn State 4 in the last minute.
Worst pass: Clifford sailed several high early, including the first attempt to an open KJ Hamler.
Best catch: Fryfogle went up for a 24-yarder over Tariq Castro-Fields and got a foot down in front of the IU sideline in the first quarter. Fryfogle caught five passes for 131 yards and a TD.
Catch it, will ya: John Reid dropped a sure pick-6 at the Indiana 40 in the second quarter, keeping the Penn State lead at 17-14.
Hold it, won’t ya: Pat Freiermuth fumbled in the second quarter but alertly recovered. Can’t really blame Clifford for his second-quarter fumble after enduring a blind-side hit.
Worst decision: Indiana punt returner Whop Philyar – even James Franklin commented on that unique name last week – inexplicably attempted to field a bouncing punt in traffic. Penn State’s Jan Johnson recovered the ensuing fumble, providing the Lions with a short field that they turned into a 7-0 lead.
Best block(s): Michal Menet blew open a big hole on Brown’s TD run. Freshman tailback Devyn Ford also hustled downfield to make the last block on Clifford’s first TD.
Best tackle: Yetur Gross-Matos dumped Ramsey for a 6-yard sack (to the IU 40) in the second quarter, stalling the Hoosiers’ two-minute drill.
Best hit: Ellis Brooks drilled David Ellis in the second quarter, and Marquis Wilson came in and forced a fumble.
Best kick: Jake Pinegar’s 47-yard field goal in the first quarter gave the Lions a 10-7 lead.
Worst kick: Didn’t see anything real bad.
Worst coverage: Penn State blitzed two safeties, Lamont Wade and Jaquan Brisker, and Ramsey capitalized by calmly hitting a wide-open Fryfogle for a 38-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7.
Worst penalty: Let’s go with Indiana’s illegal substitution on its first play of the second half.
Best call: Rather than kicking a field goal for a 30-24 lead, the Lions sealed the game with a successful 1-yard TD plunge by Clifford on fourth-and-goal, giving the Lions a 34-24 lead with 1:44 to play.
Worst call: Has to be Indiana’s fake punt.
Best effort: On second-and-10 from the Indiana 48, Freiermuth caught a dumpoff from Clifford, who had dropped the snap, and the big tight end broke tackles and weaved through traffic for a 15-yard gain to the 33 in the fourth quarter.
Unsung hero: Levis only rushed three times, but his 3 yards on fourth-and-1 from the Indiana 24 helped sustain the Lions’ nine-minute drive that clinched the game.