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Indiana 36, Penn State 35: What Twitter Had to Say

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Michael Penix was short... but it’s Penn State’s fault for letting it come down to that

NCAA Football: Penn State at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Well.... that sucked. In a game they had no business losing, the Penn State Nittany Lions dropped their season opener against the Indiana Hoosiers 36-35 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Nittany Lions are now 0-1 and are starring down the daunting task of hosting the Ohio State Buckeyes next Saturday night.

Saturday’s game was a roller coaster ride, as was Penn State Twitter. There were highs and there were lows. This included some super highs and some real, real lows. So, for the firs time in 2020, let’s dive into how Penn State Twitter reacted to a Nittany Lion game.

Early on all was right with the world. Penn State got the ball and marched down the field. The dirve ended in a touchdown catch by Pat Freiermuth.

This touchdown catch gives Moose 16 touchdown catches in his career, a new Penn State record for tigth ends. The rest of the first half, however, would be an unmitigated disaster for the Nittany Lions.

Despite a Will Levis fumble inside the 10-yard line, Penn State had the chance to still get points before halftime. This came when Lamont Wade recovered an Indiana fumble with :02 seconds left. Even though this set up an easy field goal for Jake Pinegar, because this is just how this game went, Pinegar doinked the try off the upright to send Indiana into the locker room leading 17-7.

At hafltime, fans, myself included, were pretty damn frsutrated about the Nittany Lions trailing depsite out gaining Indiana 173-87.

With Journey Brown out and Noah Cain exiting the game in the 1st quarter, it created opportunity for the freshman running backs. Keyvone Lee took adavantage and Nittany Lion fans took notice.

Lee finished the game with 35 rushing yards, and a healthy 5.8 YPC average, to go along with a pair of receptions.

Another new comer who had a strong game was cornerback Joey Porter Jr. In his first career start, the son of the former NFL All-Pro linebacker had 5 tackles, a sack and a pass break up. He also had great coverage throughout the game.

Late in the 4th quarter, despite his struggles throughout the game, quarterback Sean Clifford connected with Jahan Dotson for a 60-yard touchdown pass. A touchdown pass that gave Penn State a 21-20 lead.

When Penn State escaped Bloomington with a victory in 2018, 4 sacks in the 4th quarter from Shaka Toney was a major factor. On Saturday, Shaka tried to do it again. He got back-to-back sacks on Indiana’s penultimate possession in regulation, and these two sacks should have helped to put the game on ice for Penn State.

Unfortunately, following the two sacks by Toney that helped force an Indiana turnover on downs that appeared to put the game on ice ofr Penn State, poor coaching then took over for the Nittany Lions. James Franklin fell into Indiana’s trap of letting Devyn Ford score a touchdown with 1:42 remaining when Penn State should have just kneeled out the clock. He also did not run another play prior to Jordan Stout misses a potential game-winning 57-yard field goal with :03 left... a field goal that was short by about a yard. Not going for two after Ford’s touchdown put Penn State up by 7 was a mistake, too.

In overtime, things were looking promising for Penn State. The Nittany Lions lead 35-28 while Indiana faced a 3rd down at the 9-yard line. This lead was due to a touchdown catch in overtime by true freshman Parker Washington who made the start in his collegiate debut.

Washington caught just two passes in his collegiate debut, but this included the aforementioned touchdown. He also nearly hauled in a A+ catch in the 4th quarter on which he drew a critical pass interference.

Then came the controversary. After Indiana scored to make the score 35-34 head man Tom Allen called a timeout and made the decision to go for two. Quarterback Micahel Penix appeared to be out of bounds before reaching the pylon for the winning two-point conversion. However, even after a lenghty review, the officials ruled he had reached the end zone.

Make no mistake about it, depsite the bad call, this loss is NOT on offciating. This loss is on Penn State. Penn State committed three turnovers, not the officials. Penn State missed three field goals, including one inside the 10-yard line, not the officials. Penn State made terrible coaching decisions, including deciding to NOT kneel out the clock with the lead, not the officials. With better playing and, most importantly, coaching, the officials never would have been in a position to make that call.