After two close losses, Penn State was finally on the other end of things, holding on to beat Indiana 33-28.
And when I say holding on to, I mean they barely held on to the game.
After going up 33-21 and forcing a three-and-out for the Indiana offense, it seemed like the Nittany Lions would stroll to victory. Instead, their late game offense stalled again, and mixed with some of the softest prevent defense around, allowed the Hoosiers to move the ball down the field and score a touchdown to make it 33-28 with 49 seconds to go.
All good, right? Nope. After Indiana failed to convert the onside kick, the play was ruled dead because James Franklin called a timeout. As luck would have it, the second-try was all Indiana needed, as they jumped on the ball after Nick Scott couldn’t corral it.
Fortunately for Penn State, a holding call against Indiana and then a sack from Shaka Toney pushed the Hoosiers way back, and with no timeouts left, time ran out for Tom Allen’s squad on the ensuing two plays. Somehow, someway, the Nittany Lions survived in Bloomington.
Winning is always the goal. No matter what transpires during the 60 minutes, the most important thing is that Penn State wins. But — that was not an inspiring showing from the Nittany Lions both on offense and on defense. While many of us expected a weird game against the Hoosiers, I’m not sure how anyone can feel more confident about the Nittany Lions heading into Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Survive and advance? Sure. But man, Penn State has a lot of flaws, and almost all of them were on display today.