LANDOVER, Md. — Contrary to expectations and standard operating procedure, the Penn State Nittany Lions came out of the gates strong on the road and went up 14-0 over the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday. The noon kickoff and some bus issues (four players, including captain Ollie Ogbu didn’t get on in time and one bus broke down) that normally would have made for a sleepy start were not present. Matt McGloin deftly directed the Nittany Lions offense, finding several receivers over the course of the drive. 13 plays later, Penn State led 7-0.
[flickr : Photos of Penn State vs. Indiana at FedEx Field /slideshow]
The defense kept Indiana from threatening too much on their first two possessions, but the Hoosiers pinned the Nittany Lions back to their own 4 yard line. It didn’t matter as McGloin drove the offense down the field for one of the longest scoring drives in memory. A Brett Bracket touchdown put the “visitors” up 14-0.
After exchanging drives ending in punts, Indiana came to life. They drove down the field and pulled within 7. After a Penn State field goal, the Hoosiers scored within 2 minutes to make it a surprisingly tight 17-14 at halftime.
While I was still waiting in line for food at the start of the second half, Penn State quickly drove into Hoosier territory, but Evan Royster did not convert on 4th down around the Indiana 40 yard line. Indiana marched down the field for a game-tying field goal. The Nittany Lions responded with McGloin finding Moye for a 21 yard touchdown to pull ahead again. The Hoosiers responded quickly, tying up the game a couple of minutes later a Ben Chappel pass to Tandon Doss. Doss, who was almost a 1-man show for IU, was in single coverage for reasons not understood by me.
With the score tied at 24, Penn State got well into Indiana territory, but Colin Wagner missed from 44 yards out. Indiana took over and got as far as their 37 yard line before a penalty put the them back to the 32. An incompletion and a Doss run for no game brought on the punting team. It was then that I observed that it had been a long time since Penn State blocked a punt. Andrew Daily made me look really good by going in and blocking the punt which James Van Fleet scooped up for the go-ahead touchdown. Thanks! Indiana, who had fought hard and well against a overwhelming Penn State crowd in what was technically a Hoosier home game, was done. They would only muster two more first downs in the 4th quarter while Penn State added a Wagner field goal and Silas Redd touchdown. FINAL SCORE 41-24, Penn State.
McGloin had a strong game. He made some throws underneath when they were given to him instead of going deep. He also found a wide variety of receivers throughout the game.
Derek Moye was effective running the ball with 2 carries for 39 yards.
Redd led Penn State with 50 yards rushing on 9 carries. Redd also had a touchdown and a good kickoff return.
Royster had 48 yards, but on 16 carries. He scored a touchdown though.
C Doug Klopacz was injured, forcing Stefen Wisniewski back to center.
Doss was very effective for Indiana, having his way with Penn State almost all day. He had about 280 yards from scrimmage, about half a which came on kick returns. He will play on Sundays.
Drew Astorino made the only interception of the game in the 3rd quarter.
Rob Bolden only got in for one possession at quarterback at the end of the game. Chin up Rob!
The IU band’s 3rd down defense song sounds like a modified version of the Jaws theme and is pretty good.
There was a lot of John Mellencamp, a Hoosier benefactor, being played. At least Pink Houses was not one of the songs included.
The p.a. announcer and the videos were all IU centric since it was their “home” game
Dave Witvoet was the referee, so there were several reviews (that took away two touchdowns) and a bizarre explanations
Shockingly, Indiana includes Zombie Nation in their piped-in music
We were seated in the southwest corner of the upper deck. We had the sun at our back for the first quarter, then it went below the stadium.
The end zone nearest us had INDIANA painted in it. The opposite one had PENN STATE.
We were on the Indiana sideline but we could not see if Bill Lynch threw his gum.
The Tailgate Maven was easily visible — she was the women in near the sidelines with the sparkly scarf. She got to meet LaVar Arrington too!
Six members of our party couldn’t make it, but at least two of them sold their tickets.
The security was not as tight — the TSA style patdowns are apparently not enforced anymore, at least for college games
The pulled pork sandwich was rather tasty.
Thanks for giving me your extra fries Fritz.
Penn State vs. Indiana outdrew Maryland vs. Florida State in College Park by over 30,000
The victory was celebrated with Wild Turkey 101.
More details on the tailgate later.