Penn State 29, Indiana 7: Nittany Lions leave no doubt against injured Hoosiers


Hackenberg leads Penn State’s offense to comfortable victory

Quick Hits

In a refreshing change of pace, Penn State opened things up on offense by trying to move vertically and avoiding having to rely on an ugly and gritty showing. Penn State’s 29-7 victory over Indiana was never in too much doubt after the first quarter. Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had his hand in all four touchdowns for the Nittany Lions, with two through the air and two more on the ground.

Penn State was once again without freshman running back Saquon Barkley. Akeel Lynch was also out and not even dressed. Without their top two running backs, Penn State gave carries to Nick Scott (8 attempts for 58 yards) and Mark Allen (8 attempts for 47 yards). Hackenberg even took off with his legs at times, rushing for 37 yards and two touchdowns. It was Hackenberg’s first career game with two rushing touchdowns.

As has been the case for most of the season, Penn State’s defense clamped down to make stops and take control of the game. This may have been their best effort so far, even though the defense only came up with one turnover after three in each of their last three games. It helped that Indiana was without starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld and starting running back Jordan Howard, but Penn State limited the Hoosiers to just 234 yards of total offense and never let the Hoosiers sniff the red zone after scoring their only touchdown of the game (when backup QB Zander Diamont shushed the crowd following his touchdown run). The closest Indiana got was the Penn State 34-yard line.

Austin Johnson, Jason Cabinda and Marcus Allen each had nine tackles, and Carl Nassib plowed through the line for a pair of sacks of Diamont. Penn State also picked up a sack from Johnson and Garrett Sickels in the game.

The game was not without its room for improvement. Hackenberg had a good day in the box score but his receivers dropped a few too many passes and the quarterback took four sacks. There will be little time to iron out some of these wrinkles though, as a big game now looms next week.

Player of the Game: Christian Hackenberg

Hackenberg became the second quarterback in school history to surp[ass the 7,000 career passing yardage mark. Hackenberg ended his game with 262 yards and finished his third straight game without throwing an interception. That is the first three-game stretch in his career without an intercepted pass.

Play of the Game: Christian Hackenberg’s second rushing touchdown


What’s Next?

Well, here we go. After playing every game in the state of Pennsylvania this season, Penn State finally goes out for a true road game next week against No. 1 Ohio State. The Buckeyes remained undefeated today with a victory over Maryland. There is plenty of talent on the Ohio State roster for the defending national champions, so Penn State will unquestionably have to be as close to perfect as they can be if they are to return home with a win next week. Ohio State escaped Beaver Stadium with an overtime victory last season, and Penn State’s last trip to Columbus resulted in a 63-14 loss. However, Penn State is 2-2 in Ohio Stadium in their last four trips, starting with the memorable 2008 game.

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