IU-Penn State reports and analysis from Andy Graham

PREGAME: Gorgeous day for football here at Memorial Stadium. Whether or not we see gorgeous football is a whole other thing. Indiana looked awful through most of last week’s loss at North Texas, and Penn State’s offense hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. But as Buck Suhr correctly noted in the pregame radio discussion on IU’s network: “You could take an all-star team from the first four opponents Indiana played and not come up with a front seven on defense as good as Penn State’s.” Exactly. IU’s offensive line has struggled, but might really have its hands full today.

That is the context in which Dusty Kiel might get his first collegiate start. It hasn’t been confirmed, but word circulated on the internet late last night that Kiel would start at quarterback today instead of sophomore classmate Ed Wright-Baker, who started the first four games. It was also reported that Dusty’s brother, Columbus East star quarterback Gunner, reaffirmed his verbal commitment to play for the Hoosiers. IU fans might not rest easy about that till December, though. Gunner intends to graduate early and start college in January, so we should know something definite by December.

Joe Paterno has 402 more career wins than does Kevin Wilson but, to be fair, he’s been at it a bit longer. This will be Paterno’s 700th game since he joined the Penn State staff in 1950, and he’s been a head coach now for 46 years. A certified Legend. Coaching today in a Leaders Division game, though.

As always, I’ll have commentary (sometimes cryptic, admittedly), analysis (such as it is) and scoring updates below the fold.  Thanks for reading.

FIRST QUARTER: Dusty Kiel did start and completed his first two passes, but the Hoosiers ended up a yard short of the first down and punted. Rob Bolden is starting for Penn State.

What looked like a PSU scoring drive was thwarted by a holding call, which negated a Silas Redd TD run, and then an interception by Forisse Hardin of a pass tipped by open tight end Andrew Szczerba. Hardin returned the ball from the IU 1 to the IU 21 with 8:42 left in the first.

Sorry got kicked off-line for awhile.

Indiana 3, Penn State 0. Indiana’s offense responded with a 9-play, 46 -yard drive capped by a 49-yard Mitch Ewald field goal at 6:59 of the first for a 3-0 Hoosier lead. The key play was a 24-yard completion from Kiel to Ted Bolser. Kiel has done well. He’s hit the open throws and thrown a couple away, and got hit once causing an incompletion, but has generally been on target.

A roughing-the-passer penalty on Larry Black kept the ensuing PSU drive alive for awhile but it still stalled. The punt, however, went out of bounds at the IU 5. Rob Bolden has looked shaky for the Lions. I expect to see McGloin soon.

An IU punt just hit Chaz Powell in the back, as he tried to block for the return, and Lee Rose recovered at the Lions’ 49 at 3:08 of the first.

IU stalls. Penn State’s defensive penetration is blowing up plays now. PSU will take over at its 15 after another Pines punt.

SECOND QUARTER

McGloin in now for the Lions at quarterback, and I would wager he’ll be in for the duration.

Neither offense moving consistently now. Just in spurts. Damarlo Belcher did make a great play by ripping a slant pass away from Drew Astorinino in double-coverage for a 24-yard gain on IU’s last drive, which stalled at midfield.

For some strange reason, Indiana keeps trying stretch plays to the right and loses yardage every time. IU also isn’t throwing downfield to stretch the defense, but might not have time to, given the penetration Penn State’s defensive line is getting. IU’s defense has played solidly. Lawrence Barnett is having a good game at corner, taking guys man-to-man on the wide side and doing well.

Still 3-0, IU, with 8:43 left in the half. Pretty much as we expected in that neither offense is showing much, and IU has gotten almost all the breaks so far.

Indiana 3, Penn State 3. Penn State gets a 22-yard field goal from Anthony Fera with 2:57 left in the half to tie the game. It capped a 12-play, 65-yard drive, with the key play a diving catch by Shawney Kersey over the middle for 26 yards on a 3rd-and-6, carrying to the IU 11.

Again knocked off line.

Penn State was short on a 52-yard field goal attempt to end the half.

HALFTIME: INDIANA 3, PENN STATE 3

Sorry, again having trouble staying online. IU had only 105 yards of total offense in the first half. The Hoosiers had repeated opportunities to capitalize on turnovers or good field position, but PSU’s defensive front was dominant. Dusty Kiel play okay, and made no major errors, but wasn’t able to get the offense moving consistently. The Hoosier defense, on the other hand, playing a lot of man-to-man coverage, did well. PSU quarterbacks were just 9 of 23 through the air in the first half.

THIRD QUARTER

PSU gets the big break to start the half. After IU’s defense forced a 3-and-out on the first series of the period, PSU defensive end Sean Stanley came through completely untouched to rip a handoff away from Stephen Houston, who had no chance. PSU took over on IU’s. The Hoosier offensive line play continues to be absolutely abysmal.

Penn State 6, Indiana 3: IU’s defense again holds tough as PSU’s passing attack looks pretty hopeless against man-to-man coverage. Fera made a 27-yard field goal to give the Lions their first lead of the day.

The Hoosiers might need more mobility at quarterback in the form of Wright-Baker or Tre Roberson. Again, Kiel is playing all right, but PSU’s defensive penetration isn’t making life easy for him. Kiel is 10 of 18 passing for 78 yards and one interception, with the pick basically being as good as a punt under the circumstances.

Nick Turner is back on the offensive side of the ball for IU. Perhaps D’Angelo Roberts’ unspecified injury that has him sidelined today might have him out for a while, given the return of Turner from safety.

Again, IU is reduced to short passes, most of which are very well covered. Another punt. And another bad punt by Pines.

A huge break for Indiana now. Penn State had moved methodically, if not easily, to a 1st-and-goal at the IU 3, but Chase Hoobler nails Silas Redd to force a fumble and Darius Johnson recovers for the Hoosiers at the 2 with 6:42 left in the third.

A huge break for Indiana now. Penn State had moved methodically, if not easily, to a 1st-and-goal at the IU 3, but Chase Hoobler nails Silas Redd to force a fumble and Darius Johnson recovers for the Hoosiers at the 2 with 6:42 left in the third.

IU moved out from out of the shadow of its end zone with some determined running by Stephen Houston and a completion from Kiel to Belcher, but a bad snap from center that forced a Kiel to cover the ball for a loss of eight bogged the drive down and Pines punted to the PSU 26 with 1:41 left in the third.

Penn State 13, Indiana 3. Lightning finally just 10 seconds later as McGloin hit Derek Moye for a 74-yard TD pass, with Greg Heban close but still beaten on man-to-man coverage to the wide side. Perfect throw and catch. Damarlo Belcher dropped a sure first-down pass for IU on the ensuing possession, so the Lions already have the ball back to close out the third quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

Penn State dominating the total yardage, 385 to 141 at the end of the third. IU has only 9 first downs heading into the final period.

Indiana’s defense continues to play tough. One recurring problem, however, is that the Hoosiers telegraph every single blitz. They don’t seem able to look disinterested till the actual snap. They always show their hand.

Penn State 16, Indiana 3: Fera with a 33 yard field goal at 10:10 to play. Hoosiers still not out of it, but better get in gear offensively. Penn State went 63 yards on 13 plays and took 5:39 off the clock on its scoring drive.

IU receivers now suddenly have a case of the dropsies. Matt Perez dropped a perfect swing pass on first down on IU’s ensuing possession and then, after Perez ran for 3, Belcher dropped a pass right at the first down marker over the middle. Belcher looked like he heard footsteps. No excuses for a senior receiver at this point on his second straight drop of what would have been probable first-down catches. Kiel’s stats aren’t going to look very good, but some of it definitely isn’t his fault.

IU defense still hitting hard. Stuffs the latest PSU possession. IU will take over at its 23 with 7:36 to play. Pretty much now or never for IU’s offense.

Penn State 16, Indiana 10. Hoosiers respond with a determined drive, with Kiel making some good plays, converting to Max Dedmond on a 4th down play and also showing great patience to find Shane Wynn for 24 yards to the PSU 9, then running for 4 yards, before rolling right at firing to Ted Bolser for the TD at 3:51. IU marched 77 yards in 14 plays in 3:45 to get its first TD of the day. The Hoosiers are now definitely in it, but will have to count on their defense to get at least one more stop.

IU gives up one big run to Redd, then holds. Penn State punts into end zone. IU out of timeouts but with the ball and 2:06 on the clock.

IU at midfield 3rd and 10. only 22 seconds.

IU with an apparent 1st down on a 4th and 3 scramble by Kiel. Ball fumbled out of bounds, being reviewed, at 0:02. IU at PSU 40 with one chuck to the end zone left.

Kiel hit as he threw, it looked like, Belcher had the ball at around the 10 but, trying to spin away, lost it and the play ruled an incompletion. Wasn’t going to make it to the end zone, anyhow.

FINAL: PENN STATE 16, INDIANA 10.

 

 

 

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