No. 15 Penn State Football dominated Indiana from start to finish, as the Nittany Lions kept New Year’s Six Bowl hopes alive with a convincing 45-11, that saw key contributions from freshman Drew Allar, Kaytron Allen, and Nick Singleton.
After losing two of the last three games, Penn State Football’s bounce-back win sets up the Lions to be heavily favored over the final three weeks of the season, potentially as a springboard into 2023.
Here are key takeaways from Penn State Football’s blowout win over Indiana:
Defensive Front Seven Dominates
The Nittany Lions’ defensive front seven was causing havoc all afternoon getting into the backfield for 6 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was dialing up pressure all game, and Penn State Football collected all 6 of its sacks in the first half.
The only successful drive that the Hoosiers had against the defense was more to blame from coverage lapse in the secondary instead of a lack of pressure. The Nittany Lions tallied 3 interceptions and on every one the pressure from the front seven forced ill advised throws.
If Penn State is to finish the season 10-2, they will need their defensive line to continue to get pressure and put opposing offenses behind the sticks.
Freshmen RB Duo Shines
Kaytron Allen continues to show his patience and vision in the backfield and grinded out 86 yards on 18 carries for 3 touchdowns. Allen also tallied 2 receptions for 72 yards totaling 158 all purpose on the afternoon.
Meanwhile, Singleton tallied 73 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown and looked to be more physical up the middle then he has in previous weeks.
The coaching staff did a perfect job balancing the touches for each tailback. Both players have been improving week after week and if the offensive line can get back to full health and avoid further injuries, they will continue to have success against some poor defenses ahead. Both Singleton and Allen have tied the freshmen touchdown record of 8 each with 3 games to go.
Mitchell Tinsley shows his ability
Tinsley had another great game proving why James Franklin went after him in the portal.
The wideout tallied 5 catches for 63 yards and was a critical player in the beginning of the game.
On the second drive of the game Tinsley made a diving catch on 3rd and 8 to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive. He then made a jump ball catch for 27 yards on another 3rd and 8 where he ripped the ball away from the defender falling to the ground.
Without Tinsley, that drive stalls twice and it helped get Penn State on the board and some momentum on offense. Having an additional threat in addition to Parker Washington that is consistent will be huge if Penn State wants to finish the season strong and reach a NY6 bowl game.
Sean Clifford underwhelms
Sean Clifford has another shaky performance finishing 15/23 for 229 yards and an interception.
Part of the bad performance can be blamed on the weather, after all it was a gusty afternoon across the Midwest this Saturday.
However, the interception after Indiana tied it up was simply unacceptable. Clifford threw into double coverage where the ball was tipped up into the air and set the Hoosiers up with a chance to take the lead. That is simply a throw that you cannot make and are better off throwing it away or taking off and running before doing that.
This is something that it would be easy to give a guy like Allar the pass, because he is still learning and mistakes are expected, for a 6th year senior that is not the case.
Clifford did have a beautifully thrown ball down the sideline to Theo Johnson who ultimately dropped a would have been touchdown, so it wasn’t all negative.
Franklin took Clifford out 16 yards shy of breaking the career passing yards record and it looks like that will be broken next week against Maryland.
Drew Allar gets solid playing time
Drew Allar finally got significant playing time in a Big Ten game entering during the 3rd quarter.
The quarterback debate will certainly gain more momentum as the star freshman went 9/12 for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Allar also had 3 carries for 11 yards, one of which was a key first down pickup. The most impressive throw was his first touchdown on a rope to Harrison Wallace in an incredibly tight window.
Allar looked calm and composed during the time he was in there and should leave fans optimistic as he continues to get more live game reps.
On the ABC broadcast, former Detroit Lions QB Dan Orlovsky was super impressed with the way Allar was making decisions. If Penn State fans want to get even more excited for the future, listening to Orlovsky breaking down the Allar film will certainly do that.
A note to our readers; If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission