Penn State got back into the win column in Bloomington over the weekend, snapping a run of four straight losses with a 13-7 victory over the struggling Hoosiers. The result was different, but it was more of the same for the Nittany Lions with another strong defensive effort and continued struggles to score points.
Penn State managed to keep the nation’s rushing leader, Tevin Coleman, under wraps and kept the Hoosiers off the scoreboard. The only points Indiana scored were on a Mark Murphy interception returned for a touchdown. Coleman was swarmed by the Nittany Lions and totaled 71 yards, while freshman quarterback Zander Diamont managed just 68 passing yards.
The same storylines held true for Penn State’s offense, which struggled to get a push in the running game and were consistently beaten by the Hoosiers in the trenches. One big play — a 92-yard run by Bill Belton — and two Sam Ficken field goals were plenty for a Nittany Lions defense that held its fourth straight opponent to fewer than 300 yards of total offense.
In the big picture, Indiana had to look of a must-win game for Penn State to secure bowl eligibility. With a crucial fifth victory in two, the Nittany Lions need just one more win in a final three-game stretch that features two games against Temple (Nov. 15) and Michigan State (Nov. 29), as well as a road trip to Illinois (Nov. 22).
Can Penn State get to the requisite six wins? Does the season finale against Michigan State look any more winnable after the Spartans’ home letdown vs. Ohio State last weekend? Bob Flounders, Dustin Hockensmith and Andrew P. Shay discuss those points and more on this week’s Keystone Sports Network podcast.