No. 10 Penn State Rallies from 10 Down to Beat Indiana

Trace McSorley by Paul Burdick
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Trailing by 10 points late in the third quarter, No. 10 Penn State outscored Indiana, 31-7, in the final 16:09, to earn a 45-31 victory in Big Ten football action Saturday afternoon in Memorial Stadium. The win extended Penn State’s winning streak to six games, marking the first time since 1994 that it has won six straight against conference opponents in the same season.

(Photo of Trace McSorley Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Quarterback Trace McSorley led the Penn State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) comeback, completing 6-of-9 pass attempts for 183 yards and a touchdown after Indiana (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) went ahead 24-14 with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter. He finished the day with 332 yards passing and two passing touchdowns, completing 16-of-30 passing attempts. He also scored the game’s first touchdown on the ground.

Despite being limited to 58 yards rushing on a career-high 33 carries, Saquon Barkley scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner. Aiding McSorley were three receivers totaling 80-plus yards receiving. Chris Godwin caught five receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns to lead the group, while tight end Mike Gesicki caught five passes for a career-high 88 yards and DaeSean Hamilton caught three passes for 83 yards, including a 54-yard catch that set up a touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers were a factor, as the Penn State defense was able to recover all five of Indiana’s fumbles, including four in the first half. The fifth fumble was scooped up by Torrence Brown, who returned it nine yards for a touchdown to seal the win. The Lions had a pair of turnovers of their own on a pair of McSorley interceptions.

The game featured five lead changes and two ties. For a third consecutive game, Penn State raced out to an opening lead, McSorley capped a seven-play, 60-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, but Indiana scored two touchdowns to Penn State’s one in the second quarter to go into halftime tied at 14-14.

A field goal and a Devine Redding’s second rushing touchdown gave Indiana a 24-14 advantage with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter, but McSorley and the Nittany Lions took over from there. It was Penn State’s third double-digit comeback of the season (Minnesota, No. 2 Ohio State).

Turning Point
Penn State answered after Indiana went ahead by 10 late in the third quarter. McSorley flipped the field on the second play of the ensuing possession, finding Saeed Blacknall for 43 yards to the Indiana 31. After a 10-yard rush by the Lions and an Indiana offsides penalty, McSorley hit Godwin in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown, slicing the deficit to three.

The Penn State defense forced a three-and-out and Penn State scored promptly, as a 54-yard toss to Hamilton on a flea-flicker highlighted the drive, putting Barkley to in position to score from just four yards out and give Penn State a 28-24 lead.

Indiana answered with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Richard Lagow to Nick Westbrook to retake the lead 31-28, but it would be the Hoosiers’ last score.

After both teams traded punts, Penn State took over from its own 43 with 6:51 remaining. McSorley and Barkley led the Lions down the field, and Barkley scored from two yards out for the game-winning score. A field goal and fumble return for a touchdown put the game out of reach.

Difference Makers
Penn State

  • QB Trace McSorley – McSorley posted his third 300-yard passing game of the season, throwing for 332 yards, which is tied for 14th on Penn State’s single game list, and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 13 yards and a touchdown.
  • RB Saquon Barkley – Barkley totaled 92 all-purpose yards, rushing a career-high 33 times for 58 yards and catching two passes for 32 yards, including a 32-yarder that ignited the game-opening touchdown drive. His two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter proved to be decisive in the game.
  • WR Chris Godwin – Godwin caught five passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. His yardage total pushed him to 2,014 for his career, as he became the eighth player in Penn State history to reach 2,000-career receiving yards.
  • Fumble Forcers and Recoverees – Linebacker Brandon Bell and safety Malik Golden both recovered and forced a fumble each. Bell’s forced fumble led to defensive end Torrence Brown’s scoop-and-score. Brown was joined by cornerback Christian Campbell and defensive tackle Kevin Givens in recovering fumbles.
  • LB Brandon Bell – In addition to factoring in on two turnovers, Bell tied for second on the team with nine tackles, including 2.5 stops behind the line and the sack-fumble that led to Brown’s touchdown.
  • DE Garrett Sickels – Sickels matched Bell’s 2.5 stops behind the line and factored in on 1.5 sacks. Penn State totaled nine TFLs and three sacks.


  • QB Richard Lagow – Lagow led a Hoosier passing attack that totaled 344 yards, as he completed 23-of-40 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Zander Diamont completed a 52-yard pass on his lone attempt.
  • RB Devine Redding – Redding totaled 108 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
  • Receivers – Eight different Hoosiers caught a pass, with all eight catching at least two balls. Mitchell Paige led in receptions with six for 43 yards, while Camion Patrick led in yardage with 91 on three catches. Nick Westbrook caught three passes for 85 yards and a 40-yard score in the fourth quarter, while Ricky Jones caught three passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.
  • LBs Tegray Scales and Marcus Oliver – Scales and Oliver tallied 3.5 and 3.0 tackles for loss, respectively, as Indiana totaled 16 for the game.
  • DB Tony Fields – Fields posted a game-high 10 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, and hauled in an interception.

Scoring Drives
1st Qtr
PSU – 11:28 – TD – Trace McSorley 10 yd Rush, 7 plays, 60 yards, 3:32 – 0-7

2nd Qtr
IND – 12:13 – TD – Ricky Jones 5 yd Pass from Richard Lagow, 8 plays, 60 yards, 2:40 – 7-7
PSU – 4:43 – TD – Chris Godwin 6 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 1 play, 6 yards, 0:06 – 7-14
IND – 1:00 – TD – Devine Redding 12 yd Rush, 5 plays, 32 yards, 1:05 – 14-14

3rd Qtr
IND – 11:38 – FG – Griffin Oakes 47 yd Kick, 9 plays, 52 yards, 3:22 – 17-14
IND – 3:13 – TD – Devine Redding 6 yd Rush, 5 plays, 74 yards, 1:41 – 24-14
PSU – 1:09 – TD – Chris Godwin 21 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 4 plays, 70 yards, 2:04 – 24-21

4th Qtr
PSU – 12:23 – TD – Saquon Barkley 4 yd Rush, 5 plays, 74 yards, 2:06 – 24-28
IND – 11:06 – TD – Nick Westbrook 40 yd Pass from Richard Lagow, 7 plays, 75 yards, 1:17 – 31-28
PSU – 3:58 – TD – Saquon Barkley 2 yd Rush, 7 plays, 57 yards, 2:53 – 31-34
PSU – 1:07 – FG – Tyler Davis 39 yd Kick, 4 plays, 2 yards, 1:42 – 31-38
PSU – 0:29 – TD – Torrence Brown 9 yd Fumble Recovery – 31-45

Key Drives
First Quarter
PENN STATE 15:00-11:28 (3:32, 7 plays, 60 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
A 31-yard kickoff return by Miles Sanders gave Penn State the ball at its own 40, and back-to-back completions of 32 yards to Saquon Barkley and 17 yards to Chris Godwin on the second and third plays of the drive quickly moved the Nittany Lions to the Indiana 8. On third-and-goal, Trace McSorley took it himself from 10 yards out for the touchdown.
Penn State 7, Indiana 0

INDIANA 2:56-1:22 (1:34, 7 plays, 40 yards) – FUMBLE
Indiana was poised to break into the red zone, but safety Malik Golden forced a fumble at the 22 that was recovered by Brandon Bell.

Second Quarter
INDIANA 14:53-12:13 (2:40, 8 plays, 60 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
Starting at its own 25 after an illegal block on the first play of the drive, Richard Lagow completed three straight passes, including a 27-yarder to Donovan Hale on second-and-23 to the Penn State 46. After an 8-yard rush by Devine Redding, Lagow completed a 24-yard pass to Luke Timian to the Penn State 14, and Redding rushed for 10 yards to the 4. On third-and-goal, Lagow found Ricky Jones for the score.
Penn State 7, Indiana 7

PENN STATE 4:49-4:43 (0:06, 1 plays, 6 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
Penn State was stopped on fourth down and punted on its two previous possessions, but both resulted in Indiana fumbles recovered by the Nittany Lions. The fumble on the punt gave the Nittany Lions the ball on the 6, and McSorley found Godwin in the end zone for a touchdown.
Penn State 14, Indiana 7

INDIANA 2:05-1:00 (1:05, 5 plays, 32 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
Indiana’s Rashard Fant intercepted Trace McSorley and returned it 34 yards to the Penn State 32, setting up a Hoosier touchdown drive. Lagow connected with Hale for 18 yards on third-and-15, and Redding then rushed for 7 yards and then 12 yards for the game-tying touchdown.
Penn State 14, Indiana 14

Third Quarter
INDIANA 15:00-11:38 (3:22, 9 plays, 52 yards) – FIELD GOAL
Indiana received to start the second half and Griffin Oakes delivered with a 47-yard field goal. Nick Westbrook keyed the drive with a 34-yard reception.
Indiana 17, Penn State 14

INDIANA 15:00-11:38 (3:22, 9 plays, 52 yards) – TURNOVER ON DOWNS
Tony Fields intercepted McSorley to give Indiana the ball at the Penn State 29. The Hoosiers reached the Penn State 1 on third down and attempted to convert on fourth, but Brandon Smith broke up a pass play at the goal line.

INDIANA 4:54-1:41 (1:41, 5 plays, 74 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
A 52-yard pass from Zander Diamont to Camion Patrick moved Indiana to the Penn State 7, and Redding punched his way into the end zone from six yards out.
Indiana 24, Penn State 14

PENN STATE 3:13-1:09 (2:04, 4 plays, 70 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
A 43-yard completion to Saeed Blacknall to the Indiana 31 got the drive rolling, and then after a five-yard Andre Robinson rush and an offsides penalty, McSorley connected with Godwin in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown catch.
Indiana 24, Penn State 21

Fourth Quarter
PENN STATE 14:29-12:23 (2:06, 5 plays, 74 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
Starting at its own 26, Penn State gained 17 yards on a pair of Barkley runs, and then a flea-flicker play to DaeSean Hamiltonfor 54 yards moved the Lions to the 4. Barkley went into the end zone untouched on second-and-goal from the 4
Penn State 28, Indiana 24

INDIANA 12:23-11:06 (1:17, 7 plays, 75 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
The Hoosiers started at their own 25 and avoided a third-and-out with an 11-yard completion on third-and-10, and then Lagow found Patrick for 22 yards and Westbrook for a 40-yard touchdown completion.
Indiana 31, Penn State 28

PENN STATE 6:51-3:58 (2:53, 7 plays, 57 yards) – TOUCHDOWN
After starting the drive on the Penn State 43, a 26-yard completion to Godwin on the drive’s third play moved the Nittany Lions into the red zone at the Indiana 17. Barkley then gained two yards and then 13 more when he dragged a host of defenders to the 2. After an incompletion, Barkley scored the game-winning touchdown on a run.
Penn State 35, Indiana 31

PENN STATE 2:49-1:07 (1:42, 4 plays, 0 yards) – FIELD GOAL
The Penn State defense forced a four-and-out, and the Nittany Lions took over on downs at the Indiana 22. Three rushes did not go anywhere, but Tyler Davis converted a 39-yard field goal.
Penn State 38, Indiana 31

INDIANA 1:07-0:29 (0:38, 5 plays, -4 yards) – FUMBLE LOST FOR TOUCHDOWN
Brandon Bell punched the ball free on a sack and Torrence Brown scooped it up for a 9-yard touchdown run to seal the win.
Penn State 45, Indiana 31

Up Next
Penn State will play at Rutgers next Saturday. The game will kick at 8 p.m. on BTN. Penn State will then conclude the regular season the following Saturday at home against Michigan State.

Copyright © 2021 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.