QB Sean Clifford leads No. 9 Penn State past No. 24 Indiana | TribLIVE.com
Penn State

QB Sean Clifford leads No. 9 Penn State past No. 24 Indiana

Associated Press
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AP
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford passes in the first quarter against Indiana in State College on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
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AP
Penn State running back Journey Brown dives past Indiana defensive back Tiawan Mullen in the second half.

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State’s best offense Saturday wasn’t explosive or flashy. It was grinding and relentless, and it helped keep the No. 9 Nittany Lions’ playoff hopes alive.

Penn State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten, No. 9 CFP) got three touchdowns from quarterback Sean Clifford, who completed 11 of 23 passes for 179 yards and ran for 55 yards, in Penn State’s 34-27 win over No. 24 Indiana (7-3, 4-3).

With Penn State ahead by three with 10 minutes, 45 seconds to play, Clifford led an 18-play, 75-yard drive that burned 9:01 and ended when he plunged in from a yard to put the game out of reach.

“For our offense to go on an 18-play drive, I haven’t been around many of them,” Penn State coach James Franklin said.


Journey Brown rushed 21 times for 100 yards and added a score for the Nittany Lions, who will play at No. 2 Ohio State next week, where the top spot in the Big Ten East will be on the line.

Tight end Nick Bowers caught a 12-yard touchdown pass for Penn State, and Jake Pinegar kicked a pair of field goals.

Peyton Ramsey completed 31 of 41 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more for the Hoosiers (7-3, 4-3) who outgained Penn State, 462-371.

“Offensively, we did things for sure,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “Peyton was effective, tough, gritty. We played a good football team today. We’re a good football team, too.”

After going three-and-out to start the game, the Nittany Lions recovered a muffed punt and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to Bowers. Ramsey took advantage of a safety blitz on Indiana’s next possession and hit an open Ty Fryfogle 38 yards downfield to make it 7-7.

Pinegar kicked a 47-yard field goal to put Penn State up 10-7, but Indiana took the lead when Ramsey capped a 63-yard drive with a 1-yard run less than three minutes later.

Clifford put Penn State up 17-14 with 1:03 left in the first quarter when he sprinted up the middle for a 38-yard score. Pinegar added a 27-yard field goal to give Penn State a 20-14 halftime lead.

Brown turned another Indiana turnover into a score when he raced 35 yards early in the third. Ramsey scored on another 1-yard run early in the fourth, and Logan Justice kicked two field goals for the Hoosiers.

Penn State receiver KJ Hamler left in the first quarter after he returned a kickoff but didn’t appear shaken up as he walked off. Although Hamler didn’t return, he was seen in the tunnel afterward jumping up and down congratulating his teammates.

Categories: Sports | Penn State
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