Brown late fumble return ices victory
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 45-31 victory over Indiana on Saturday at Memorial Stadium:
Play of the game: On second-and-10 from the Indiana 27 and 39 seconds remaining, Brandon Bell sacked Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow, who fumbled. Torrence Brown scooped it up and rumbled 9 yards for the victory-preserving touchdown.
Offensive player of the game: Lion quarterback Trace McSorley completed 16-of-32 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted twice.
Defensive player of the game: Bell made nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. In addition to forcing the decisive fumble, he also recovered one.
Most telling statistic: For the fourth straight game, McSorley averaged 20 yards per completion.
Most deceiving statistic: The Lions managed a mere 1.8 yards on 45 rushing attempts.
Hidden statistic: Indiana fumbled five times and lost all five.
Best run: On second-and-8 from the Hoosier 15, trailing 31-28 with five minutes to play, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley smashed up the gut and practically carried Indiana’s entire defense 13 yards to the 2, setting up the Lions’ go-ahead touchdown.
Best pass: Lagow perfectly led Nick Westbrook for a 40-yard touchdown that gave the Hoosiers a 31-28 lead with 11:06 left.
Best return: Miles Sanders opened the game with a 31-yard kickoff return.
Worst pass: McSorley threw way high and was intercepted over the middle in the third quarter, giving Indiana safety Tony Fields an easy pick.
Best catch: Chris Godwin’s leaping 21-yard touchdown reception in the end zone cut Indiana’s lead to 24-21.
Catch it, will ya: Two plays before the heroics by Bell and Brown, Grant Haley could have ended the game with an interception that slipped through his hands.
Hold it, won’t ya: Penn State didn’t fumble. Indiana fumbled enough for both teams.
Best tackle: On third-and-8, with the Hoosiers up 24-21 early in the fourth quarter, Jason Cabinda blew up a flat pass to Ricky Brookins, forcing a punt.
Best block: Saeed Blacknall did a nice job downfield to help seal McSorley’s 11-yard touchdown that opened the scoring.
Best hit: Indiana’s Zeke Walker drilled Sanders in the second quarter.
Best coverage: With Indiana facing fourth-and-goal from the PSU 1, linebacker Brandon Smith defended a pass to Westbrook that could have given the Hoosiers a 10-point lead early in the third quarter.
Best kick: Indiana’s Griffin Oakes nailed a 47-yard field goal to push the Hoosiers up 17-14 in the third quarter.
Worst kick: After the Lions cut the Hoosier lead to 24-21, Joey Julius promptly booted the kickoff out of bounds, giving Indiana possession at the 35.
Worst penalty: Jordan Smith’s holding penalty on an Indiana punt cost the Lions a good return and 40 yards of field position in the second quarter. The penalty led to McSorley’s first interception, which the Hoosiers used to tie the game at 14.
Best call: Penn State dusted off a gorgeous flea flicker with Barkley taking a handoff and then flipping it back to McSorley, who found DaeSean Hamilton for a 54-yard reception to the Indiana 3. The bomb set up the Lions’ 28-24 early in the fourth quarter.
Worst call: Down 35-31 with three minutes remaining and facing third-and-7 from its 19, Indiana inexplicably tried Devine Redding up the middle. He gained 3, leading to a fourth-down incompletion, which helped seal the Hoosiers’ fate.
Best effort: After muffing a first-quarter snap, Lion punter Blake Gillikin scrambled to recover the ball at the PSU 20, ran away from two IU defenders and somehow got the punt off.
Unsung hero: PSU guard Ryan Bates, a redshirt freshman, shifted to left tackle after early injury knocked Paris Palmer out of the game.