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
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford passes in the first quarter against Indiana in State College on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
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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