Photo courtesy of Indiana athletics
It was a win for the ages on Saturday in Bloomington.
Indiana picked up its first win over a top-10 team in more than three decades on Saturday and did so in thrilling fashion. After falling behind by eight late in regulation, the Hoosiers rallied for a 36-35 overtime victory over No. 8 Penn State.
Tom Allen’s team showed grit, guts and that the big moment wasn’t too much to handle. As a result, Indiana earns Fifth Quarter’s honor of Team of the Week.
Making the Plays When it Matters
Indiana scored 17 points in the second quarter to take a 17-7 lead to the break. That lead would stand until the final play of the third quarter when Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford scored on a 35-yard touchdown run.
After an Indiana field goal, Penn State took its first lead on Clifford’s 60-yard scoring strike to Jahan Dotson with 2:30 remaining. It looked as though the Nittany Lions had wrapped things up after stopping the Hoosiers on downs with less than two minutes to play. Indiana decided to let Penn State score to extend the lead to 28-20.
On the ensuing drive, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. went 5-for-6, marching the Hoosiers 75 yards in seven plays. Penix capped the drive with a short touchdown run before running in the tying 2-point conversion.
Penn State had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Jordan Stout’s 57-yard field goal attempt fell short as time expired. Penn State regained the lead in overtime when Clifford found Parker Washington for a 9-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-7.
Down 35-28, the Hoosiers also faced a long third down on their first possession of overtime. On 3rd-and-8 from the 9-yard-line, Penix found Whop Philyor for the touchdown. Rather than kick the extra point, Allen left his offense on the field.
On the winning 2-point conversion attempt, Penix was forced to his left. The quarterback made a dive for the pylon and touched it with the football. The conversion was deemed good and the Hoosiers left with a 1-point victory.
Following the play, there was a lengthy review to determine whether Penix touched the pylon before touching out of bounds. It looked as though the ball hit the sideline prior to touching the pylon.
The video evidence however, was ruled inconclusive and the call on the field stood. Indiana had pulled off the upset.
The Only Stat That Matters
Statistically, the contest was dominated by Penn State. The Nittany Lions finished with 488 yards of offense to just 211 for Indiana.
Penn State also possessed the ball for more than 40 minutes and had 27 first downs to 16 for the Hoosiers. It rushed for 250 yards to just 41 yards rushing on 26 carries for Indiana.
Penn State was guilty of self-inflicted wounds. The Nittany Lions finished with 100 yards in penalties and turned the ball over three times.
In the end however, none of that mattered.
A Long Time Coming
The victory for Indiana served as its first over a top-10 team since 1987. That year, the Hoosiers went into Columbus and stunned No. 9 Ohio State, 31-10.
There were some close calls in recent years, including last season’s match-up between the schools in State College. Following the win, Indiana moved to No. 17 in the AP Poll. It’s the Hoosiers’ highest ranking since November 1993.
Indiana will look to improve to 2-0 as it hits the road for the first time on Saturday. The Hoosiers will travel to Piscataway to take on Rutgers.
In the return of Greg Schiano, the Scarlet Knights stunned Michigan State in the opener in East Lansing, 38-27. Indiana won 35-0 last season in Bloomington and has taken the last four match-ups.
Saturday’s contest begins at 3:30 p.m. ET and airs on Big Ten Network.