Penn State at Indiana: A meeting of two frustrated teams
The Nittany Lions come into the road game with two straight losses, but the Hoosiers are in a similar foul mood after being spanked, 42-16, at home by Iowa.
Penn State is coming off back-to-back losses going into Saturday's game at Indiana, but the Nittany Lions aren't the only frustrated team that will be taking the field at Memorial Stadium.
At his weekly Monday news conference, Indiana coach Tom Allen compared Saturday's 42-16 home defeat at the hands of Iowa to "getting hit upside the head with a 2-by-4." After a 3-0 start in the nonconference portion of their schedule, the Hoosiers are 1-3 in the Big Ten with an average margin of 21 points in their three losses.
"It doesn't feel very good, but I promise you it will get your attention," Allen said of the defeat. "This is one of those kinds of situations. I think our guys were shook a little bit by it."
Allen said some of his seniors addressed the team Monday during a meeting and then hit the field for a workout, saying "our energy, focus, effort were excellent. We can't change [the loss] but we can learn from it."
Indiana now must deal with Penn State, which has suffered back-to-back defeats to Ohio State and Michigan State after blowing fourth-quarter leads in each game.
"They're a very talented football team that had high hopes and expectations for the season," Allen said. "They're going to be coming to Bloomington, be very hungry, ready to play and get their season back on track."
The coach called quarterback Trace McSorley "a very experienced quarterback that we know full well how good he is, both when we played him two years ago and last year."
Allen joked that when he watched running back Miles Sanders on film, he thought he might be "the same guy they brought back from last year," a reference to Saquon Barkley.
"He's his own guy for sure, but he's a special talent," he said. "He was the No. 1 running back in the country coming out of high school. That's kind of what they're able to do, a tribute to how they've recruited, the guys they've got and developed — very, very talented football players."
The Hoosiers gave up six touchdown passes to Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley on Saturday. Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey threw two interceptions in the red zone and his team was flagged for 10 penalties, including two for unsportsmanlike conduct — one on Allen, the other on one of his assistants.
"I want to stand up for our guys," Allen said. "I'm not going to back down from that. I'm going to be who I am. I don't want team penalties. That's on me. That's not acceptable. I don't want that to happen again."