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Penn State rallies; loses to Indiana

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Clifford accounts for four touchdowns, 357 yards of total offense


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford accounted for four touchdowns, including a late go-ahead touchdown pass and an overtime touchdown throw, but Indiana rallied with a touchdown and two-point conversion in the extra frame to defeat No. 8/7 Penn State, 36-35, in the Big Ten football opener for both teams Saturday in Memorial Stadium.


Penn State (0-1, 0-1 Big Ten) was led by quarterback Sean Clifford, who accounted for four touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing) and 357 yards of total offense, throwing for 238 yards on 24-of-35 passing and rushing for 119 yards – the seventh-most by a quarterback in Penn State history. Pat Freiermurth became Penn State’s career leader in touchdown receptions by a tight end with the 16th of his career to break a tie with Mike Gesicki (2014-17), scoring on the game’s opening drive and catching seven passes for 60 yards. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson had four catches for 94 yards, including a late 60-yard touchdown reception. On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Shaka Toney led the Penn State defense with seven tackles, which were all solo and included two sacks. Safety Lamont Wade recovered a fumble and made his first career interception.


Penn State outgained Indiana 488-211 in total offense yards, but had issues with turnovers, penalties and the kicking game. Indiana (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) was then able to tip the game in its favor with two-point conversions, scoring one to force overtime with 22 seconds remaining and another in overtime for the go-ahead point.


For Indiana, Penix went 19-for-36 passing for 170 yards with a touchdown throw in overtime and two successful two-point conversion rushes – one to force overtime and one to win the game, while running back Stevie Scott III rushed for two touchdowns in the first half. Safety Jamar Johnson made 10 tackles and had an interception and forced a fumble the Hoosiers recovered, while cornerback Jaylin Williams also added an interception.


How It Happened

With Penn State trailing by six late in the fourth quarter, Clifford found Dotson over the middle for a 60-yard touchdown strike and a 21-20 Penn State lead. Then after stopping Indiana on fourth down, running back Devyn Ford rushed for a touchdown with 1:42 remaining for a 28-20 advantage. However, Indiana’s Penix led the Hoosiers on a game-tying touchdown drive, rushing for both the touchdown and ensuing two-point attempt. Jordan Stout attempted a school-record tying 57-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining in regulation to give Penn State the win, but the football just dipped under the crossbar and the game went to overtime.


Clifford threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Parker Washington in overtime for a 35-28 Nittany Lion lead, but Penix answered with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Whop Philyor on Indiana’s possession and the Hoosiers elected to go for two to decide the game. Penix ran left and dove, extending the football towards the pylon, making contact with both it and the ground out of bounds, for what was ruled a touchdown. The play was reviewed, but the call stood.


Penn State took the game’s first lead with Freiermuth’s touchdown catch on the opening drive, converting on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line.


Williams’ intercepted Clifford late in the first quarter leading to the Hoosiers’ first score, a field goal, early in the second quarter. Stevie Scott then gave Indiana a 17-7 lead with a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.


Clifford scampered for a 35-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to three at the end of the third quarter before Indiana added a field goal for a 20-14 advantage. Penn State was able to retake the lead on the Clifford-Dotson score, but Indiana answered to prevail in overtime.

Up Next
Penn State opens its 2020 home slate next Saturdayagainst Ohio State. Coverage on ABC is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. from Beaver Stadium.

The 2020 Penn State Football season is presented by PSECU.

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