Penn State notebook: Dotson was key in PSU’s win
STATE COLLEGE — Following are the highlights and lowlights from Penn State’s 24-0 over Indiana on Saturday night at Beaver Stadium:
PLAY OF THE GAME — Jahan Dotson went up high for a rifled 8-yard touchdown pass from Sean Clifford early in the second quarter, bumping PSU’s lead to 14-0.
Offensive player of the game — Dotson caught eight passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed a 21-yard pass.
Defensive player of the game — Lion defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher made six tackles, including a sack.
Most telling statistic — Needing to fix its run game, the Nittany Lions rushed for 209 yards, averaging 5.0 per attempt.
Hidden statistic — The Lions limited Indiana to four first downs in the first half.
Best run — Keyvone Lee burst up the middle for 44 yards late in the first quarter, PSU’s longest run this season.
Best pass — On fourth-and-7 from the Indiana 33 in the first quarter, Clifford whipped a perfect 9-yard sideline pass to Parker Washington at the sideline for a first down, extending the Lions’ first touchdown drive.
Worst pass — Down 14-0 but threatening, Indiana’s Michael Penix Jr. was intercepted on first down by Joey Porter Jr. late in the second quarter at the PSU 13.
Best catch — See play of the game. Porter’s pick is a close second.
Catch it, will ya? — Washington dropped two passes in the first quarter.
Hold it, won’t ya? — Penn State is on impressive streak. It hasn’t lost a fumble this season.
Best tackle — Arnold Ebiketie stopped Stephen Carr on fourth-and-1 from the Nit 4 late in the first quarter.
Best block– Guard Eric Wilson sprung Lee’s 44-yarder.
Best hit — Ebiketie welcomed IU backup quarterback Jack Tuttle with a sack on Tuttle’s first play in the third quarter.
Best kick — Jordan Stout’s 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Lions a 24-0 lead.
Worst kick — Indiana’s Charles Campbell had a 30-yard field goal blocked by Brandon Smith and Ebiketie in the third quarter.
Best call — It could be the creative shuffle pass from Clifford to Brenton Strange that went for a 3-yard touchdown except but it was — strangely — wiped out for an illegal receiver downfield because Dotson wasn’t lined up on the line of scrimmage. James Franklin concurred with the call. The Nits scored a play later (Clifford to Dotson) anyway.
Worst call — Down 14-0 with 1:05 left in the first half and facing third-and-4 from its 38, Indiana ran up the middle (for no gain) as if it couldn’t wait for the half to end.
Best effort — Up 21-0, Ebiketie and Brandon Smith blocked an IU field goal with the Hoosiers trying to get on the scoreboard late in the third quarter.
Unsung hero — Strange caught a 10-yard touchdown pass (the shuffle pass would have been his second) and appeared to block well.