No. 4 Penn State vs. Indiana: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
UNIVERSITY PARK — Fresh off it’s last-second escape from Iowa last week in its Big Ten Conference opener, Penn State returns home to Happy Valley Saturday to take on Indiana in another Big Ten clash in Beaver Stadium.
The Nittany Lions and the Hoosiers will tee it up at 3:30 p.m.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
No. 4 Penn State (4-0) at Indiana (2-1)
KICKOFF: 3:30 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network
BETTING LINE: Penn State is a 17.5-point favorite
THE SERIES: The Nittany Lions are 19-1 all-time against Indiana in a series dating back to 1993, when Penn State joined the Big Ten. Indiana’s only win was a 45-24 victory in Bloomington in 2013.
TAILGATE UPDATE: Stadium parking lots open at 8 a.m., Fan Fest on Curtin Road begins at 11 a.m. and the Beaver Stadium ticket office, near Gate E, opens at 11:30 a.m. The team arrival is scheduled for approximately 1 p.m. and the stadium gates will open at 1:30 p.m., including the students’ Gate A. During the team arrival, the Nittany Lions’ eight team captains will be handing out footballs signed by the captains and head coach James Franklin to eight fans lined up on Curtin Road.
GENERATIONS OF GREATNESS GAME: Penn State will turn back the clock for a special “Generations of Greatness” game. Elements of the game against the Hoosiers will take fans back in time, while the Nittany Lions will don uniforms with designs elements from uniforms past.
In addition, the Beaver Stadium scoreboards at each end zone will be a flipboard display from the 1950s, the Blue Band’s musical selections will feature a variety of hits from the 1950s to today, the cheer and dance teams will don historic outfits, and the honorary captains for the coin toss will be stars from decades past to the present.
ABOUT PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions survived an upset bid in Iowa last week, marching 80 yards in 12 plays and scoring on Trace McSorley’s “walk off” 7-yard touchdown pass to Juwon Johnson on 4th and goal as time expired to claim a hard-fought 21-19 victory. Iowa had taken a 19-15 advantage with 1:42 left when Akram Wadley scored on a 35-yard touchdown run.
Junior running back Saquon Barkley established himself as a serious Heisman Trophy contender with a spectacular performance in front of a prime-time audience, rushing for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, catching a career-high 12 passes for 94 yards and adding 53 yards on kick returns. His 358 total yards set a school single-game record. Barkley leads the nation in total yards (253.3 per game) and is tops in the Big Ten in receiving yards (518).
Penn State’s victory at Iowa is the first as time expired in regulation since Sam Ficken connected on a field goal against the University of Central Florida in the Croke Park Classic in 2014. The play at Iowa also marked the first time that Penn State won on a touchdown in the final moments since Bobby Engram had a touchdown catch with eight seconds left against Michigan State in 1995.
McSorley struggled for some of the game, but came through when it counted. For the season, he leads the Big Ten in passing yards with 1,037, and is averaging 259.3 per game to rank second in the conference behind Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson (280.7). McSorley’s 10 passing touchdowns rank second behind Iowa’s Nathan Stanley (12).
Johnson had career highs with seven catches and 92 yards in the Iowa game. His previous personal mark was four receptions for 84 yards against Akron in the season opener.
Tight end Mike Gesicki became Penn State’s all-time tight end receptions leader with five receptions at Iowa to total 89 for his career. He broke the record of 87 set by Andrew Quarless (2006-09).
Meanwhile, the Penn State defense has been doing its part as well, averaging just 8.3 points allowed per game to rank second in the nation. Its second safety of the season proved to be a difference maker in the two-point win over Iowa.
Penn State ranks second only to Minnesota in scoring defense at 8.3 points per game. The Nittany Lions own a pair of shutout victories, and have not allowed more than 19 points in a game. They have been particularly strong at the start of games, ranking as one of two teams yet to give up a first quarter point (Southern Miss), according to Coaches by the Numbers.
The Nittany Lions average 10.3 tackles for loss per game, which leads the nation.
Safety Marcus Allen leads the team with 24 tackles. With five tackles against Iowa, Allen moved into a tie for 10th place on Penn State’s career tackles list, joining Brandon Short at 273.
The Nittany Lions’ 10-game winning streak at Beaver Stadium is tied for the third-longest active streak in the nation. Michigan has also won 10 straight games at home, while Alabama (14) and USC (12) have the longest active streaks.
ABOUT INDIANA: The Hoosiers are coached by Tom Allen, who joined the staff as associate head coach in January 2016 and replaced Kevin Wilson as head coach on December 1. His first game as head coach was the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl on December 28; the Hoosiers lost 26-24 to Utah.
Indiana lost 49-21 to Ohio State in its season opener on August 31, but rebounded to knock off Virginia 34-17 in its second game. Its September 16 game with Florida International was cancelled due to the arrival of Hurricane Jose in Florida. The Hoosiers then knocked off Georgia Southern 52-17 last week.
Freshman RB Morgan Ellison rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries against Georgia Southern. He earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for his effort. Ellison is averaging 85.7 yards per game on the ground, which ranks third among true freshman running backs in the conference and fourth nationally.
The Hoosiers reached the end zone offensively, defensively and on special teams against Georgia Southern. Indiana’s defense forced three takeaways (fumbles) and turned them into 21 points.
J-Shun Harris II took a punt return 70 yards for a touchdown against Georgia Southern, earning Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Harris, a redshirt junior, also had a punt return TD against Virginia, making him the second player in program history to record a punt return touchdown in consecutive games.
Linebacker Tegray Scales, a returning All-American, has a team-high 26 tackles for the Hoosiers, including 2.5 tackles for loss.
Indiana uses two quarterbacks, redshirt senior Richard Lagow and redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey. Lagow has completed 51 of 88 passes for 564 yards and four touchdowns, with three interceptions. Ramsey is 21-for-31 through the air, for 238 yards and three scores. He has yet to throw a pick. Ramsey is also second on the team in rushing, with 93 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.
Simmie Cobbs Jr. (18-228, two TDs), Luke Timian (17-112) and Ian Thomas (11-163, three TDs) are the Hoosiers’ top receivers.