5 Postgame Thoughts: Indiana

By Matthew Filipovits on October 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm
Oct 20, 2018; Bloomington, IN, USA;Penn State Nittany Lions running back Miles Sanders (24) is tackled by Indiana Hoosiers defensive back Raheem Layne (17) during the first quarter of the game at Memorial Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty, but Penn State walked out of Memorial Stadium with a win. Just like their last trip to Indiana, it took some big fourth quarter plays to escape the Hoosiers.

Here are five thoughts on the Nittany Lions' win:

1. Penn State got turnovers at very opportune times. Call it luck, call it whatever you want, but Penn State probably does not win the game without those turnovers. The Nittany Lions fell on three of their own muffed punts, had a pass fall into their laps off a deflection, and had a fumble rocket right into Nick Scott's stomach. After getting pretty unlucky with fumbles last week, this was a welcome sight.

2. The Penn State defense struggled mightily to slow down the Indiana offense, allowing 554 yards of total offense. Tom Allen's multi-quarterback look undoubtedly threw the defense off, but the unit still struggled after Michael Penix went down with an injury. Stevie Scott is an absolute wrecking ball — he tore up the Nittany Lion defense for 138 yards on 26 carries. Penn State needs to shore up that mangled defensive line going forward.

3. Miles Sanders did not get the ball nearly enough. He had 21 total touches but only carried the ball 15 times. He was torching this Hoosier defense early and for some reason, never got a ton of carries after that. He's the key to the Penn State offense and Ricky Rahne needs to find a way to get him the ball more often.

4. Trace McSorley's remarkable streak of 38 consecutive games with a touchdown pass has come to an end. McSorley did not have a great day through the air, a byproduct of several drops and a heavy wind, but he was able to effective with his legs. He went for 107 yards and two tuddies, making some defenders look silly in the red zone in the process. It's a shame about the record, but the important thing is Penn State got the win.

5. This feels like one of the least satisfying wins of the Franklin era. This team clearly has a ton of holes that weren't exposed early in the season, notable at receiver and in the defensive front seven. Penn State was outcoached for a good portion of this game and a bad special teams blunder on Nick Scott's muffed onside kick recovery at the end nearly cost them the game. The good news? We saw guys who could really help the Nittany Lions step up today. Shaka Toney played the best football of his career in the fourth quarter, John Reid looked like his old self, the Tommy Stevens package was very effective, and Johnathan Sutherland held his own after Garrett Taylor was ejected for targeting. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about Chaos Team for another year.

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