I’ve probably written this same lede for a game recap three times this year, but Penn State once again survived a middling performance to down Indiana 34-27 on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions got an early break on a muffled punt (maybe) by Indiana’s Whop Philyor and converted a short field into a 7-0 lead.
It then took the Hoosiers just under three minutes to even the score thanks to the first of many busts in the Penn State secondary.
The Nittany Lions regained the lead with a 47-yard field goal by Jake Pinegar that snuck inside the left upright, but then things got a bit dicey.
Indiana once again carved up the Penn State secondary for an under three-minute touchdown drive to take a 14-10 lead.
Sean Clifford responded by leading a 72-yard touchdown march, capped by a 38-yard Clifford run to make it 17-14.
A Pinegar kick made it 20-14 at the half.
Coming out of the half the Nittany Lions seized momentum quickly, snuffing out a fake punt and then turning into a touchdown on a 35-yard Journey Brown run.
That made the score 27-14, but Indiana had an answer once again, putting together a solid drive for a field goal before forcing a Penn State punt and finding the end zone to make it 27-24 with 10:45 left in the final quarter.
Then came perhaps Penn State’s most impressive drive of the year. The Nittany Lions marched 75 yards, 60 of which came on the ground, in just over nine minutes to secure the game-winning touchdown.
Clifford finished the day just 11 of 23 for 179 yards and one touchdown through the air, but added 10 carries for 55 yards and two scores on the ground,
With Noah Cain out again with an injury, Brown rushed 21 times for 100 yards and a score. While Devyn Ford carried the ball eight times for 38 yards.
The Penn State passing game all but disappeared in the second quarter when KJ Hamler left the game with a head injury. His progress will be huge ahead of Penn State’s big game with Ohio State next week.
Pat Freiermuth had just two catches for 32 yards, though that included a big catch and run on the final drive. ‘