STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Three takeaways from No. 9 Penn State’s 34-27 victory over No. 24 Indiana Saturday before a crowd of 106,323 at Beaver Stadium:
Most clutch drive of the season?
The Nittany Lions (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) saw a 27-14 lead trimmed to three points after Peyton Ramsey’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 10 minutes, 45 seconds to play. After taking over at their own 25, the Lions proceeded to milk nine minutes off the clock with an 18-play drive that was capped by Sean Clifford’s 1-yard run on fourth and goal with 1:44 remaining. The Lions converted two third downs and a pair of fourth downs during the drive. Sixteen of the 18 plays were runs, including 11 in a row after Pat Freiermuth caught a 15-yard pass from Clifford to get the ball down to the Indiana 33. The drive included backup quarterback Will Levis, who ran on back-to-back plays on third and fourth downs, picking up three yards for a first down at the 21. Journey Brown, who gained 100 yards in 21 carries, also had some big runs during the drive.
Lions helped by poor special teams play
The Nittany Lions capitalized on two special teams miscues by Indiana (7-3, 4-3), leading to 14 points. The first came in the opening quarter when the Hoosiers’ Whop Philyor muffed a bouncing punt and linebacker Jan Johnson recovered at the Indiana 27. The Lions scored in five plays on a 12-yard pass from Sean Clifford to tight end Nick Bowers. Later, on their initial possession of the third quarter, the Hoosiers had fourth and one at their own 44, called timeout and lined up in an extremely spread out punt formation. The snap went to tight end Peyton Hendershot, the up back, but he bobbled it and was buried for a loss by Garrett Taylor and Antonio Shelton. Journey Brown dashed 35 yards for a touchdown two plays later. As for Penn State’s special teams, Jake Pinegar kicked two field goals in as many attempts, and Blake Gillikin nailed two punts inside the 10.
Ten games in, Penn State still misses tackles