Nittany Lions Rebound With Blowout Win Against Purdue
After suffering its first loss in six weeks at the hands of Ohio State on Oct. 24, questions about how Penn State (6-3, 4-1 Big Ten) would respond against Purdue (3-6, 0-5 Big Ten) surrounded the Nittany Lions prior to taking the field in West Lafayette on Saturday. Bill O’Brien’s squad responded in dominating fashion by posting a 34-9 victory.
Purdue drove down the field on their opening drive and came away with three points from the leg of Sam McCartney, which marked the first time this season Penn State has allowed points in the first quarter.
Matt McGloin and the Penn State offense couldn’t get anything going on their first drive, giving the ball right back to Purdue and quarterback Robert Marve. Three plays later redshirt freshman defensive end Deion Barnes forced a Marve fumble giving the ball right back to the Penn State offense. The Nittany Lions would then tie the game at three after a Sam Ficken 27 yard field goal.
The Nittany Lions would then score 31 unanswered points behind a season high 506 yards of total offense to take a 34-3 lead before Purdue scored as time expired, notching their sixth win of the season with a final score of 34-9. O’Brien improved to a perfect 3-0 on the road in conference play becoming just the fifth Big Ten head coach to do so.
Earlier in the week at his weekly press conference head coach Bill O’Brien stressed the importance of putting the Ohio State loss behind them, and that is exactly what his team did against the reeling Boilermakers.
"You have to bury those loses and that's what we did,” said O’Brien postgame. The kids came in today and didn't let others slack off during practice. They are a fun team to coach and they love to play."
It was another impressive performance offensively for Penn State as McGloin accumulated 337 yards of total offense, a career high, while throwing for 321 yards in the air tallying two touchdowns.
“I thought that Matt came in here and managed the game well,” O’Brien told GoPSUsports.com after the game. “He has been playing well all year. You have to give Matt McGloin a lot of credit for how he’s played this year.”
Wide receiver Brandon Moseby-Felder set a career high in receiving yards after posting 129 yards on six receptions. Moseby-Felder caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin in the third quarter, which the first of his career.
"Brandon did a great job getting open today," McGloin told GoPSUsports.com. "He has made some big steps for us this season. He is really getting comfortable for us at the wide out position."
Running backs Michael Zordich and Zack Zwinak stepped up for Penn State combining for 167 yards on the ground. Zordich scored two touchdowns in the first half to continue to prove to be effective after not even appearing on the week one depth chart.
Senior linebacker Gerald Hodges and the rest of the Penn State defense played a typical Penn State defensive game limiting the Boilermakers to only nine points and 87 yards on the ground.
Hodges led Penn State with eight tackles, including three for a loss. Ted Roof’s defense forced two fumbles on the day and continued their stellar defense, which leads the conference statistically. McGloin and Penn State scored all five times they were inside the 20-yard line while Purdue was 2-for-4 in the same category.
“The defense really came to practice this week, especially Tuesday through Thursday and Ted had a really good game plan,” O’Brien told GoPSUsports.com. “The guys coached it up and the kids came here ready to play with a lot of energy.”
Purdue started with the football past their own 40-yard line on five of their 14 drives and were shut down to only nine points, which is their lowest point total in the 2012 season.
Mauti, Hodges and the rest of the Penn State defense will look to continue their defensive dominance this weekend as they travel to Nebraska for a 3:30 showdown with the Cornhuskers. Coverage begins on ComRadio at 2:30 with the ComRadio Football Pregame Show.
Mike Esse is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and is a ComRadio Sports Director. To contact him, email: email@example.com.