The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

October 5, 2013

College football: Penn State stalls in Big Ten opener

Indiana wins first in 17 series games

By Michael Marot

The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Penn State coach Bill O'Brien kept gambling Saturday.

When the bets didn't pay off, the Nittany Lions eventually folded.

Indiana took advantage of Penn State's failed fourth-and-2 pass at its own 33 by scoring two touchdowns in 12 seconds to turn a close game into a 44-24 blowout -- the first win for the Hoosiers in 17 tries over the Nittany Lions.

"I felt like we needed a touchdown, and we had to try to make something happened," O'Brien said. "I was trying to manufacture a little bit of momentum there and it didn't work out."

And it came at a big price.

The Hoosiers (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) batted down Christian Hackenberg's pass at the line of scrimmage. Two plays after that, Kofi Hughes made a beautiful over-the-shoulder, sliding catch for a 36-yard TD that gave Indiana a 35-17 lead. Eugene Lewis then fumbled away the kickoff at the Penn State 9-yard line and on the next play Tre Roberson scored on a quarterback keeper around the left side.

Game over.

It was a dismal day for Penn State (3-2, 0-1) in soggy Bloomington -- and not just because of the ramifications of that missed fourth-down call -- one of three times Penn State failed on a fourth-down try.

The Nittany Lions also botched a snap on a field-goal attempt, had another attempt blocked, nearly sent another snap over the punter's head, lost one fumble on a kickoff and another in their own end zone that turned into a late safety.

Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg wound up 30 of 55 for 340 yards passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions, breaking Kerry Collins' single-game record for attempts, but was under duress much of the fourth quarter. Allen Robinson caught 12 passes, the second-most in school history, for 173 yards and two scores as he moved from 12th to seventh on the school's career receptions list and into a fifth-place tie on the school's career TD receptions list.

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