Freshman Pace No. 15 Penn State In Annihilation of Indiana
No. 15 Penn State (7-2, 4-2) pummeled Indiana (3-6, 1-5) in a 45-14 annihilation in Bloomington on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions entered their date with Indiana coming off a soul-crushing loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although, it was clear James Franklin and co. lived up to their ‘1-0’ mantra and put the past in the rearview mirror. They handed it to the Hoosiers in all aspects of the game, large in part to freshman’s contributions.
The weary and windy weather in Bloomington, Indiana made it evident that the elements were going to impact both team’s ability to throw the football.
The 20 and 30 mph winds didn’t waver, and although the air attack wasn’t completely kept quiet, it was the ground game that stole the show - and who else would it be but the two tremendous true freshman leading the way for Penn State - Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton.
Allen gashed the Indiana defense right from the get-go. He kicked things off by gaining 11 yards on his first carry, and it quickly became evident that he was going to have himself a day.
The true freshman proceeded to turn 18 carries into 86 yards and a hat tick - a career-high three touchdowns. He also tacked on 72 receiving yards on two catches.
Nick Singleton was a bit of an afterthought, although still made his mark carrying the football recording 16 carries for 73 yards and one touchdown.
Allen and Singleton form a formidable one-two punch in Penn State’s backfield and they did it on a day where the Nittany Lions’ offensive line was as beaten and battered as it’s been in a while.
Sixth-year senior Sean Clifford got the nod as the starting signal caller following a week of some speculation. After a shaky start, he delivered overcoming an early interception to complete 15-of-23 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
Penn State compiled 483 total yards of offense large in part to the rushing attack but also Clifford’s durability and ability to deliver the football in tough situations.
It helps that the defense locked all doors and windows, too.
Penn State’s defense was one word - dominant. Indiana’s offense looked lost all game long, and could only produce 196 total yards as a result.
To be fair, the Hoosiers did filter through three quarterbacks after their starter Jack Tuttle was knocked out early in the second quarter with an injury. But the Nittany Lions never left the backfield regardless of who was under center, en route to six sacks and 16 tackles-for-loss on the day.
Penn State had three interceptions on the day as well - one courtesy of a freshman - and not your typical candidate. Dani Dennis-Sutton had perhaps the highlight of his promising inaugural campaign with an interception that he came close to taking to the house.
Kobe King snatched the first one of his career in the third quarter and led the team with eight tackles and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Daequan Hardy rounded things out with his first pick of the year as well.
Overall, it was a performance that assisted true freshman sensation quarterback Drew Allar into the game in the third quarter, giving Penn State fans a glimpse into the future.
Allar continued to harass the Hoosiers by completing an efficient 9-of -12 passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, one to Harrison Wallace III and the other to Theo Johnson. He displayed a strong, accurate arm and excellent poise and pocket presence, especially for a freshman.
Penn State came into the contest coming off a narrow defeat to the Ohio State Buckeyes in which it surrendered 28 points in the fourth quarter. Allar and the Nittany Lions navigated the final frame much better this time around and managed to post those 14 points and put the game on ice.
Penn State heads back to Happy Valley next week to take on Maryland (6-3, 3-3) while the Nittany Lions’ quest for a New Year’s Six bowl remains alive and well.
Zach Donaldson is a fifth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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