2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 5 - Penn State at Indiana
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Oct. 1 Penn State 16 … at Indiana 10
CFN Analysis: Penn State just isn't going to get good quarterback play this season, so each game will have to be a fight. The wins will have to come with defense, a good running game, and takeaways, but the three turnovers were a big problem and the sloppiness of the passing game kept IU in it. Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden combined to complete 16-of-36 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown with a pick, but Silas Redd helped save the day as a steadying force with 129 yards on 29 carries. Penn State dominated in every place but on the scoreboard, but if the offense can't show up against a miserable team like IU, it's uh-oh time next week against Iowa.
If Indiana had some semblance of an offense, any offense, it would've been able to pull this off. Penn State has a great defense, but the Nittany Lion offense gave IU several chances to stay in the game. Dusty Kiel only completed 22-of-45 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown with an interception, but there wasn't any running game to help the cause. The offensive line didn't do anything to give the skill players time to work. The defense did a decent job against a bad passing team, but until the offense can show some semblance of explosion, it's going to be ugly with Illinois and Wisconsin up next.
(AP) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Penn State's Matt McGloin made the most of his second chance Saturday.
The former starter re-entered the game late in the third quarter, threw a 74-yard TD pass on his first play and later led the Nittany Lions to a field goal, giving Penn State a 16-10 victory at Indiana in both schools' Big Ten season opener.
McGloin was 10 of 22 for 204 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and no sacks -- a fitting tribute on an ugly, mistake-prone day.
Penn State (4-1) won the inaugural Leaders Division game and improved to 15-0 all-time against the Hoosiers.
Indiana (1-4) had a chance to win it as time expired but Dusty Kiel's desperation pass came up 5 yards short of the end zone and Damarlo Belcher couldn't hang on anyway. The Hoosiers have now lost two straight.
Aside from McGloin's two efficient scoring drives, little went right either way.
The Nittany Lions blew one scoring chance when Forisse Hardin intercepted Rob Bolden's pass at the Indiana 1, had another slip away when Silas Redd lost a fumble at the Hoosiers 2 and threw away two other chances with fumbles that cost Penn State big yardage.
Indiana, meanwhile, struggled to finish off drives for the second straight week and didn't score a touchdown until Kiel's 5-yard TD pass to Ted Bolser made it 16-10 with 3:51 to play.
The Hoosiers did force Penn State to punt and got the ball back with 2:06 left, but once again failed to put the ball in the end zone.
Indiana took advantage of the first turnover with a 49-yard field goal from Mitch Ewald to make it 3-0.
Penn State tied the score late in the second quarter on Anthony Fera's 22-yard field goal, then took the lead after converting an Indiana fumble into a 27-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
McGloin came in with 1:41 to go in the third quarter, made the perfect read when Indiana's safety played up, and made the perfect throw over single coverage to Derek Moye, who caught the ball in stride at about the 40-yard line and jogged the remaining distance for the score and a 13-3 lead.
On the next series, McGloin burned more than 5 1/2 minutes on a 13-play, 63-yard drive that Fera capped with his third field goal of the day, a 33-yarder that made it 16-3.
Redd rushed 29 times for 129 yards, and Moye caught six passes for 158 yards and the TD.
Kiel finished 22 of 45 for 189 yards with one TD and one interception in his first career start.
Penn State (3-1) at Indiana (1-3) Oct. 1, 12:00, ESPNU
Here's The Deal … If you had told Penn State fans that their team would be 3-1 to start the season with the lone defeat coming to Alabama, there wouldn't be many complaints. But the reality is worse than the record.
The quarterback situation continues to be a bit of a mess; the offense is going nowhere; it took everything in the bag to get by Temple – which looks like a stronger win now after the Owls destroyed Maryland; and the top defensive player is out for the year. The Nittany Lions might have beaten Eastern Michigan easily, but linebacker Michael Mauti suffered a torn ACL leaving a ten-mile wide hole in the middle of the defense, and top corner D'Anton Lynn was carted off the field last week and is almost certainly out.
Fortunately, Eastern Michigan might have been like playing the Green Bay Packers compared to facing Indiana.
The Hoosiers are a hot mess with injuries, miserable line play, and a horrible opening four games from the team and the new coaching staff. It's one thing to sputter late and lose to Virginia, it's another to lose to Ball State, and it's a whole other world of bad to lose to a North Texas team that might be among the five worst in America. Last week, the Hoosiers lost 24-21 to the Mean Green, and now that have to try to turn their season around by breaking an 0-14 streak against Penn State.
Why Penn State Might Win: The Indiana defensive line has been the biggest problem. There's no consistent production against the run, despite playing four teams that can't run the ball, and there hasn't been any semblance of a pass rush, despite playing four teams with lousy offensive lines. Penn State might be having problems, but the offensive line is having a nice year in pass protection, allowing just four sacks so far, while IU has only been able to generate one sack on the year. The Nittany Lion defensive front has been terrific at times, and it shouldn't have any problems camping out in the backfield against the porous Hoosier offensive front that's allowed 12 sacks and isn't doing much on a consistent basis for the running game.
Why Indiana Might Win: Penn State's passing game is painfully inefficient, and even though the quarterbacks combined to bomb away for 364 yards and four touchdowns against Eastern Michigan last week, that was an aberration. The IU secondary has held up surprisingly well considering the pass rush hasn't been providing any help, and it doesn't take much to slow down the Nittany Lion receivers. On the offensive side, for all of IU's problems, it's been decent at throwing the ball. It's taking a ton of throws to crank out the yards, and the passing production has come because little is happening on the ground, but the Hoosiers should be able to push the Nittany Lion secondary a bit.
What To Watch Out For: Indiana can't afford to lose any key offensive players, and the loss of star receiver Damarlo Belcher hurt in the loss to North Texas. No one's saying what the problem is, but he wasn't able to do much in practices two weeks ago, didn't travel to Denton, and now he's questionable at best. He had his best game of 2009 against the Nittany Lions, making nine catches for 95 yards and a score, but was held to 13 yards on two grabs in last year's game. If he's out, the Hoosier passing attack needs to spread the ball around among 11 different very young targets like it did against UNT.
The Nittany Lions desperately need to find new defensive playmakers to step up in play of Mauti and Lynn. 6-5, 305-pound senior Devon Still has been terrific on the defensive interior and is tied for the team-lead in tackles with Mauti. Not only does he have 21 tackles, but he's doing a nice job of getting into the backfield, leading all Big Ten players with 5.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Health has been an issue in the past with a torn up knee and a broken ankle suffered earlier in his career, but he's now looking like a sure-thing All-Big Ten star and a possible All-American.
What Will Happen: Penn State's running game will work. The passing game will look decent for a second straight week with no IU pass rush to worry about, and Silas Redd will tear off 100 yards with ease. Indiana won't make many mistakes, but it won't come up with any big plays on either side of the ball to change the momentum after a few early Nittany Lion scoring drives.
CFN Prediction: Penn State 27 … Indiana 9
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Penn State -17 O/U: 47
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