Penn State Set for Indiana at Noon Saturday

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. – Winners of their last five and surging in the polls, Penn State begins a two-game road trip Saturday at noon against Indiana on ABC and ESPN2.

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

The Nittany Lions moved up to No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the Coaches poll for its highest rankings in both since 2011. The College Football Playoff committee will update its rankings Tuesday evening. At 5-1 in Big Ten games, Penn State sits second in the East Division standings, holding a tiebreaker over Ohio State, which is also 5-1.

Penn State is seeing success on both sides of the football. After scoring 62 points two weeks ago at Purdue, the Nittany Lions rumbled to 41 points against Iowa, gaining 599 yards of total offense with 359 coming on the ground, led by a 167-yard effort by Saquon Barkley. Barkley found the end zone twice, scoring on a 57-yard touchdown run and 44-yard reception, giving him 211 all-purpose yards.

Barkley is among the most productive and explosive players in the country. He leads the Big Ten in rushing and all-purpose yards and is second in total touchdowns, also ranking in the top 15 in FBS.

As the Penn State offense covers more ground, the defense is yielding less. Iowa only mustered 30 rushing yards last Saturday and Purdue only gained 46 two weeks prior, marking the first time in Penn State had ever held back-to-back Big Ten opponents to less than 50 yards rushing.

The Nittany Lions will need to stop the air attack against Indiana, though. The Hoosiers boast the third-ranked offense in the Big Ten and rely on their passing game, which is averaging 298.1 yards per game to rank second in conference. Quarterback Richard Lagow ranks second in the Big Ten with 2,574 passing yards, and his favorite targets, Nick Westbrook and Ricky Jones both rank in the top five in the Big Ten for reception yards per game.

Penn State’s pass defense is averaging less than 200 yards allowed per game to rank fourth in the Big Ten, and it is continuing to have success in getting to quarterbacks, averaging 3.0 sacks per game to rank second in the Big Ten.

Indiana is carrying a winning streak of its own, as it has defeated Maryland and Rutgers in its last two outings to improve to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten.

INDIANA HEAD COACH KEVIN WILSON

  • Kevin Wilson is in his sixth season as head coach of Indiana. He has guided the Hoosiers to a 25-45 record.
  • In Wilson’s first five seasons, his teams set 56 school records, including points, total yardage, passing yardage and rushing yardage in a single season.
  • He arrived in Bloomington after spending the 2002-10 seasons at Oklahoma, where he served as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach (2002-05) and offensive coordinator and tight ends and fullbacks coach (2006-10).
  • He won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2008.
  • His 2008 offense, led by Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, shattered NCAA records by scoring 60-or-more points in five straight games and 716 total points for the entire season to average more than 51 points per contest.
  • He was also instrumental in the development of Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 1,925 yards his freshman campaign – an OU single-season record and the highest total for a freshman in NCAA history.

SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS

  • Indiana has a 5-4 overall record, 3-3 Big Ten record and a 3-2 mark at home this season. With wins over Maryland and Rutgers in their last two outings, the Hoosiers have won back-to-back Big Ten games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2006 and 2007.
  • Indiana’s offense ranks third in the Big Ten averaging 468.8 yards per game. It relies on a passing attack that is averaging 298.1 yards per game to rank second in conference and 21st in FBS.
  • Quarterback Richard Lagow ranks second in the Big Ten with 2,574 passing yards.
  • Wide receivers Nick Westbrook (78.7) and Ricky Jones (75.7) both rank in the top five in the Big Ten for reception yards per game.
  • Linebacker Tegray Scales ranks second in FBS with 7.1 solo tackles per game. In total tackles, his 9.4 average ranks 26th in FBS and third in the Big Ten.
  • Defensive back Rashard Fant leads the country with 1.8 passes defended per game, while linebacker Marcus Oliver ranks fifth in the Big Ten and fifth in FBS with 0.44 forced fumbles per game.

WINNING WAYS

  • Penn State’s win over Iowa was its seventh of the season, thus guaranteeing the Nittany Lions their 12th consecutive winning season.
  • Only four additional teams have posted winning records each of the last 12 years (Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Boise State and Oklahoma), and USC, LSU, Florida State and Oregon can also clinch 12 consecutive winning seasons this year.
  • At 7-2, Penn State is off to its best start since starting 8-1 in 2011, and it is currently on a five-game winning streak, its longest since winning five straight in 2015.

WINNING B1G
Penn State has won five straight Big Ten games for the first time since starting 2011 when the Nittany Lions started 5-0 in conference play.

WINNING AGAINST A TOUGH SLATE

  • The Nittany Lions’ nine opponents have a combined record of 51-30. Seven have winning records.
  • Of the seven teams Penn State has defeated, they have a combined 37 wins.

RETURN TO THE ROAD

  • After spending seven of nine weeks at home (six games, one bye week), Penn State will play two consecutive road games.
  • Penn State played six of its first nine games this season at home, winning all of them. It is 1-2 on the road this season.

FIRST CFP RANKING

  • Penn State was ranked 12th in the College Football Playoff committee’s inaugural 2016 rankings.
  • It marks the first time since the CFP’s inception in 2014 that Penn State is ranked by the committee.

RANKED IN THE POLLS

  • Penn State is ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches Poll for week 11.
  • Penn State is ranked in both polls for consecutive weeks the first time since the 2011 season.
  • Penn State’s No. 12 ranking in the AP poll is its highest since being ranked in the same spot during week 11 of the 2011 season, and its No. 14 ranking in the Coaches poll is its highest since being ranked No. 12 during week 11 of the 2011 season.
  • Following a thrilling comeback win over No. 2 Ohio State in the Penn State White Out, the Nittany Lions entered the Associated Press Top 25 in the 24th slot. It marked the first time that Penn State has been ranked since week 15 of the 2011 season.
  • Penn State is also ranked 10th in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.
  • The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2016 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public.
  • The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings.

BOWLING AGAIN

  • Penn State became bowl eligible when it defeated Purdue for its sixth win of the season.
  • The Lions have appeared in 46 bowl games in program history, tied for ninth-highest among FBS schools at the start of the season.
  • Head coach James
    Franklin has guided his team to a bowl appearance in each of his six seasons as a head coach (3 at Vanderbilt; 3 at Penn State). He is one of 12 active FBS coaches to do so and one of eight coaches to do so while at FBS programs.

NITTANY LION FROM INDIANA
QB Tommy Stevens – Indianapolis/Decatur Central

PENN STATE-INDIANA CONNECTIONS

  • PSU sophomore running back Mark Allen and freshman DE Shane Simmons and Indiana sophomore Tyler Green played together at DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland.
  • PSU redshirt freshman tight end Jonathan Holland and freshman linebacker Cam Brown and Indiana redshirt freshman cornerback Devonte Williams played together at The Bullis School in Maryland.
  • Penn State special teams coordinator/running backs coach Charles Huff and Indiana co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach William Inge both worked with the Buffalo Bills in 2012.

OFFENSE COVERING GROUND

  • Penn State has three games this season with more than 500 yards of total offense, the most since 2012, including the last two games.
  • The Nittany Lions did not have a single three-and-out against Iowa.
  • Most recently, Penn State had 599 yards of total offense against Iowa, the most since recording 661 yards at Rutgers in 1995. The 599 is also the highest total offense output by Penn State vs. a Big Ten team since 653 yards against Michigan State in 1994.
  • The Nittany Lions’ 599 yards of total offense are the third-most by a Penn State team in a Big Ten game.
  • The Nittany Lions had more than 500 yards of total offense in back-to-back games for the first time since surpassing 500 yards against Illinois and Eastern Illinois in 2009.
  • Penn State’s 359 yards rushing were the most since rushing for 372 earlier this season against Maryland and the most allowed by the Hawkeyes since 2000.
  • Penn State had 511 yards of total offense at Purdue.
  • At the time, Penn State’s 524 yards of total offense against Maryland were the most since posting 574 against Eastern Michigan in 2013 and the most in a Big Ten game since having 546 yards against Indiana in 2012.
  • It was the first game with 500 or more yards since the 2014 season opener vs. UCF (511).

HIGH SCORING

  • The Nittany Lions have scored 103 points in their last two games (62 at Purdue, 41 vs. Iowa), marking the first time since 2008 that Penn State has had a combined 100 points in a two-game span (45 vs. Temple, 55 at Syracuse).
  • The 103 points in their last two Big Ten games, marks the first time since 2002 that Penn State has had combined 100 points in a two-game span against Big Ten opponents (61 vs. Michigan State, 58 at Indiana).
  • Penn State posted back-to-back outings with 40 or more points for the first time since 2008 (Michigan, Wisconsin).
  • Against Iowa, Penn State posted its sixth 30-plus point game of the season, its most since recording six 30-point outings in 2013.
  • Penn State’s 62 points scored at Purdue are the most for the Nittany Lions in a Big Ten game since scoring 63 against Illinois 2005. It is the third-highest point total in a Big Ten game in program history.
  • The 62 points scored against the Boilers are the most by a Penn State team in any game since topping Coastal Carolina, 66-10, in the season opener in 2008.
  • Penn State’s 62 points set a record for an opponent at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium, surpassing the 56 Ohio State scored in 2013. It also tied the most points any Purdue team has allowed anywhere, matching Wisconsin’s output from 2011.
  • The 24 points scored in the third quarter are the most by a Penn State team since scoring 28 in the second quarter against UMass in 2014.
  • The Nittany Lions’ 45 points scored in the second half are the most by a Penn State team in a half since scoring 56 in the first frame against Illinois in 2005.
  • Penn State’s 38-point win over Purdue is the largest margin of victory in a Big Ten game since the 39-0 win over Illinois last season.
  • Penn State had 28 points off of turnovers against Purdue. Entering the day, the Nittany Lions had 20 points off of turnovers for the season. It was the most points scored off turnovers for Penn State since scoring 34 points off of five Temple turnovers in 2014.
  • Penn State had five different players (Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, Andre Robinson, Miles Sanders, Mark Allen) score a touchdown in the same game for the first time since the Illinois game last season (Godwin, Geno Lewis, Christian Hackenberg, Barkley, Allen).
  • The Nittany Lions had six drives of less than 2:00 for the first time since 2002 in a 61-7 win over Michigan State at Beaver Stadium. Penn State had six drives of less than 2:00 against the Spartans.
  • The 39 points scored by Penn State against Pitt were the most in a loss in program history. The previous mark was 35 against Iowa in a 2002 overtime game.

TAKING CARE OF THE FOOTBALL

  • Penn State has had three turnover free games this season: Minnesota, Purdue and Iowa.
  • The Nittany Lions had two such games in 2015, also logging zero turnovers against Army and Buffalo.
  • The Lions have not had an offensive turnover in their last three games, or in four of their last five.

GUARD EARNS RARE RECOGNITION

  • Freshman guard Connor McGovern was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week following the 41-14 win over Iowa. He was an anchor on the offensive line that paved the way for 599 yards of total offense.
  • McGovern is the first offensive lineman in Penn State history to win a Big Ten weekly award.
  • He is just the third offensive lineman to win conference weekly honors, joining Ohio State’s Korey Stringer (11/21/94) and Michigan State’s Sean Poole (11/13/04), who both won Offensive Player of the Week accolades. Stringer and Pooler were both tackles.

COLLECTING HARDWARE

  • The Nittany Lions have had at least one Big Ten weekly honoree each of their last five games, marking the first time in program history that Penn State has accomplished the feat.
  • Following the win over Iowa, Connor McGovern was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
  • Additional Lions earning accolades after the Iowa win included Saquon Barkley, who was named the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Player of the Week and Matt Limegrover, who was named the Coaching Search Offensive Lion Coach of the Week.
  • Limegrover’s line helped power Penn State to 599 yards of total offense in the Iowa win, led by Barkley, who totaled 211 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
  • After the Purdue game, Barkley was named the CBS National Player of the Week and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following a 277 all-purpose yard and two touchdown performance.
  • Barkley has won the Big Ten offensive weekly honor twice this season, also doing so after a win over Maryland. He is the first Lion since Daryll Clark in 2009 to win multiple Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors in the same season. Clark was a three-time honoree against Akron, Michigan and Michigan State.
  • This is the first time since 2009 that Penn State has had multiple Big Ten Offensive Players of the Week in the same year. The Nittany Lions have had at least one Big Ten weekly honoree each of their last four games, marking the second time in program history (2002) that Penn State has accomplished the feat.
  • Additionally, Pro Football Focus named T Paris Palmer to its Team of the Week for his performance against Purdue. T Brendan Mahon earned the same recognition the week prior for the Ohio State game.
  • The FWAA and Athlon Sports both recognized Penn State as the National Team of the Week for defeating Ohio State.
  • The Nittany Lions claimed half of the weekly Big Ten accolades for a second consecutive game (Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, not including the bye week) after the win over Ohio State, as linebacker Brandon Bell was named the Defensive Player of the Week following an 18-tackle performance, and Marcus Allen and Grant Haley shared Special Teams Player of the Week honors after teaming up to block a field goal and return it for the game-winning touchdown, respectively.
  • A Nittany Lion claimed Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors following three consecutive games (Oct. 3-Oct. 24, bye week was Oct. 15). The feat was last accomplished in 2012 when Michael Mauti (Illinois), Gerald Hodges(Northwestern) and Jordan Hill (Iowa) garnered weekly plaudits.
  • Bell was also named the Bednarik Player of the Week.
  • Allen and Haley were the first Penn State players to win Special Teams Player of the Week since Sam Ficken was a two-time winner in 2014.
  • Haley was also named the Rose Bowl Big Ten Player of the Week, while Bell was named the College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week.
  • Four Penn State coaches also earned awards following the Ohio State win.
  • The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl named James
    Franklin The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
  • Defensive coordinator Brent Pry was named the Defensive Coordinator of the Week by Athlon Sports.
  • Special teams coach Charles Huff and defensive line coach Sean Spencer were honored at their respective positions for the week by Coaching Search.
  • Barkley and junior linebacker Brandon Smith were selected as the Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, after outstanding performances in the win over Maryland.
  • The last time the Nittany Lions had both the Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week was in 2009 when Daryll Clark and Navorro Bowman won the awards after the Michigan State game.
  • Allen claimed the Oct. 3 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Rose Bowl Player of the Week after a 22-tackle performance against Minnesota.

WHO NEEDS THIRD DOWN?

  • Penn State has earned 75 first downs on second down, which ranks third-best in FBS at 42.86 percent.
  • Of the 175 first downs Penn State has gained this year, just 31 have come on third down plays, which is the lowest percentage (17.7 percent) of any team in FBS.
  • Additionally, just 18.62 percent of Penn State’s plays this year have been third down plays, which is the 18th-lowest percent in FBS.

Courtesy SportSource Analytics

  • The Lions have converted 69.2 percent of their fourth downs to rank 13th in FBS and second in the Big Ten.
  • The Nittany Lions converted a season-high 7-of-14 third down attempts last time out.
  • Penn State went 0-for-4 on third down in the second half against Purdue, but still outscored the Boilermakers, 45-7.
  • Penn State did convert its lone fourth down attempt in the second half vs. Purdue.

SECOND HALF SUCCESS

  • Four of Penn State’s seven wins this season were one possession games at halftime with the Nittany Lions trailing on two occasions.
  • The Nittany Lion offense ranks 10th in FBS in second half scoring (19.78) and sixth in fourth quarter scoring (11.56).
  • Penn State is seventh in FBS in second half scoring differential (+10.33) and sixth in fourth quarter scoring differential (+6.22).

Courtesy of SportSource Analytics

  • On defense, Penn State has allowed a total of 37 third-quarter points through eight games this season, an average of 4.1 points in the third stanza.
  • The Penn State defense has not allowed multiple scores in the third quarter all season.
  • Just 88 of the 230 points allowed by Penn State have been after halftime.
  • Penn State has shut out two teams in the second half: Kent State and Maryland.
  • Penn State has piled on the points as games go on. It has totaled 48 points in the first quarter, 78 in the second, 74 in the third and 104 in the fourth.
  • Penn State outscored Purdue 45-7 in the second half.

QUARTERBACK GROUND THREAT

  • QB Trace McSorley has both a rushing and passing touchdown in four of the past five games.
  • Against Iowa, he rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
  • McSorley’s understudy Tommy Stevens rushed for 70 yards and his first career rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter against Iowa. He did it on five carries and had a career-best 45-yard rush late in the fourth.
  • The last time that Penn State had two quarterbacks with rushing touchdowns in the same game was in 2009 against Eastern Illinois, when Daryll Clark and Kevin Newsome each had one rushing touchdown.
  • After totaling just 32 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown in the first four games this season, McSorley rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns over a three-game stretch including Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio State.
  • McSorley is the first Penn State quarterback with three consecutive games with both a rushing touchdown and passing touchdown since Matt McGloin in 2012 (vs. Temple, at Illinois, vs. Northwestern).
  • Against Ohio State, McSorley rushed a career-high 19 times, gaining 63 yards and a touchdown.
  • Against Maryland, McSorley had a career-high 81 rushing yards on 18 attempts, the most rushing yards by a Penn State quarterback since Daryll Clark had 83 against Illinois in 2009. His previous high of 73 yards came the previous week vs. Minnesota.
  • McSorley’s 73 rushing yards on only eight attempts against Minnesota led the team. The last Penn State quarterback to lead the team in rushing was Michael Robinson at Michigan State on Nov. 19, 2005. Robinson had 90 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown run against the Spartans.

McSORLEY IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • Trace McSorley was 11-for-18 against Iowa and finished with 240 passing yards for his third-straight 200-yard game. He has six 200-yard performances on the season, which is tied for seventh in program history.
  • McSorley’s six career 200-yard passing efforts are tied for 12th in Penn State history.
  • McSorley added 40 yards on the ground for 280 yards of total offense. Accordingly, he jumped into 12th place on Penn State’s single season total offense charts with 2,349 yards. He moved up seven spots on the day.
  • McSorley’s two touchdown passes against Iowa mark his 10th straight game with a touchdown pass. It is the longest streak since Matt McGloin had a 13-game streak starting with the last game of the 2011 season and ranging for the duration of the 2012 season.
  • McSorley had a career-high three touchdown passes against Purdue.
  • McSorley has thrown for 200 or more yards in six of his nine career starts.
  • McSorley had one of the most productive games by a Nittany Lion ever against Minnesota. He accounted for 408 yards of total offense — 335 passing and 74 rushing — to mark the third-highest total in school history. It was the most yards of total offense since Christian Hackenberg posted a school-record 454 yards against UCF in the 2014 Croke Park Classic vs. UCF. McSorley also had his longest career completion, an 80-yard touchdown to Irvin Charles.
  • McSorley posted his second career game with 300-plus passing yards, totaling 335 yards on 19-of-41 passing with one touchdown and zero interceptions.
  • McSorley’s 335 passing yards were a career high, moving past his 332 yards at Pitt earlier this season, and rank No. 13 on the all-time passing list.
  • McSorley is the 12th quarterback in Penn State history to register a 300-yard passing game, and just the fifth to record to have multiple 300-yard pass games, joining Christian Hackenberg, Matt McGloin, Kerry Collins and Daryll Clark.

RARE SCORE

  • At 41-14, Penn State had just the sixth scoreboard palindrome in program history in which both teams produced double-digit scores.
  • It was the first palindrome in a Penn State game since 32-23 loss a Nebraska in 2012.
  • Penn State is 5-1 in palindrome games.

1959 – Boston U. (Homecoming): W, 21-12
1974 – at West Virginia: W, 21-12
1993 – Tennessee (Citrus Bowl): W, 31-13
1998 – Purdue (Homecoming): W, 31-13
2012 – at Nebraska: L, 23-32
2016 – Iowa: W, 41-14


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