Indiana put No. 12 Penn State on its heels, but the Hoosiers shot themselves in the foot too many times in a 45-31 loss at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
IU turned the ball over on four fumbles in the first half, then saw any hopes of a last-minute rally disappear when Penn State sacked quarterback Richard Lagow, whose fumbled was picked up by Torrence Brown and returned for a game-clinching touchdown.
The first-half woes included a punt that hit the foot of Isaac James at the Indiana 6 to set up PSU’s second touchdown, and the Hoosiers (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) settled for a 14-all tie at the break.
Indiana then surged to a 24-14 lead late in the third quarter thanks to a Griffin Oakes field goal and a Devine Redding 6-yard touchdown run. That 10-point lead was in spite of passing up a chip-shot field goal and turning the ball over on downs at the 1.
Penn State (8-2, 6-1), which was largely throttled by the Hoosier defense outside of a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, finally came alive with 14 unanswered points of their own.
After the Nittany Lions went ahead, 28-24, the Hoosiers responded quickly with a 40-yard touchdown strike from Richard Lagow to Nick Westbrook.
The two teams then traded punts before Penn State took the lead for good on Saquon Barkley’s 2-yard scoring run, his second touchdown of the day.
Indiana has plenty of time with 3:58 remaining, but starting at its own 15 after a poor kickoff return, the Hoosiers got a four-yard run from Devine Redding, who finished with over 100 yards rushing for the fifth time this season. Lagow threw a deep ball incomplete down the right sideline intended for Nick Westbrook, then another Redding run for three yards brought up 4th-and-3. Lagow then had his slant pass intended for Camion Patrick batted down at the line of scrimmage.
Penn State ran the ball three times before settling for a 39-yard Tyler Davis with 1:07 remaining.
Given one last opportunity to redeem itself, Indiana saw the game come to a fitting end with the strip sack of Lagow, who finished 23-of-40 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.