Barkley, Penn State turn back Hoosiers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Michael Marot

Saquon Barkley ran for two go-ahead scores in the fourth quar­ter, help­ing No. 12 Penn State beat In­di­ana 45-31 on Satur­day.

BLOOM­ING­TON, IND. >> Saquon Barkley scrapped for ev­ery yard through the first three quar­ters. For once, he looked or­di­nary.

Penn State coach James Franklin de­cided to stick with the game plan, and even­tu­ally it paid off.

Barkley ran for two goa­head scores in the fourth, help­ing No. 12 Penn State beat In­di­ana 45-31 on Satur­day.

“What you can’t do when you’re strug­gling in the run game is abort it, es­pe­cially with a young of­fen­sive line,” Franklin said. “It was a gutsy, gutsy win on the road.”

Pow­ered by a fan­tas­tic fin­ish for Barkley, who was the Big Ten’s only 1,000-yard rusher at the be­gin­ning of the day. He had just 20 yards on his first 20 car­ries, but gained 40 in the fi­nal pe­riod to lead the Nit­tany Lions (8-2, 6-1, No. 10 CFP) to their sixth straight win.

Barkley man­aged to have an im­pact even when he wasn’t run­ning with the ball.

Barkley’s first TD was set up by a 54-yard com­ple­tion on a flea flicker when he served as the de­coy, flip­ping the ball back to quar­ter­back Trace McSor­ley. The Hoosiers (5-5, 3-4) bit hard on the play and a few mo­ments later, Barkley walked in for a 4-yard TD run that lifted Penn State to a 28-24 lead.

“I thought our de­fense bat­tled,” In­di­ana coach Kevin Wil­son said. “Great job, great job on Barkley but be­cause you’ve got a great back there, your guys have got to be on an is­land oneon-one.”

After In­di­ana re­gained the lead on Richard Lagow’s 40-yard touch­down pass to Nick West­brook, Barkley ran over a de­fender for a 2-yard score with 3:58 left. Penn State sealed the vic­tory with a 9-yard fum­ble re­turn for a TD with 29 se­conds to go.

Barkley fin­ished with 60 yards on 33 car­ries. McSor­ley was 16 of 30 for 332 yards with two TD passes and two in­ter­cep­tions.

In­di­ana had won its pre­vi­ous two games. Lagow was 23 of 40 for 292 yards and two TDs, and Devine Red­ding ran 23 times for 108 yards and two scores.

The Take­away

Penn State: The Nit­tany Lions main­tained their long­shot di­vi­sion hopes, but still need help. They dropped their con­fer­ence opener to the un­beaten Wolver­ines.

Key Num­bers

In­di­ana lost five fum­bles, four in the first half. Penn State made it 14-7 after re­cov­er­ing a muffed punt at In­di­ana’s 6-yard line. Penn State com­mit­ted two turnovers, and the Hoosiers scored their sec­ond touch­down with one minute left in the first half after pick­ing off McSor­ley.

In­jury Re­port

Penn State’s al­ready de­pleted of­fen­sive line took an­other hit when left tackle Paris Palmer left in the first quar­ter with an undis­closed in­jury. Cor­ner­back Jor­dan Smith was sent off by the refs after the first play of the fourth quar­ter to en­ter the con­cus­sion pro­to­col.

Poll Im­pli­ca­tions

Penn State: The Nit­tany Lions could be­come the sixth Big Ten team to crack the top 10 this sea­son.

In­di­ana: The Hoosiers haven’t been ranked in the Top 25 since 1994 — and this loss won’t help them end the long­est cur­rent drought for a power-five school.

Up Next

Penn State: Things should get eas­ier next week­end when the Nit­tany Lions visit Rut­gers, the last Big Ten team win­less in con­fer­ence play.

In­di­ana: After play­ing four ranked teams in their last seven games, the Hoosiers face an even more daunt­ing task next week­end. Michi­gan has won the last 20 in the se­ries.

DARRON CUM­MINGS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Penn State run­ning back Saquon Barkley goes in for a four­yard touch­down run dur­ing the sec­ond half against In­di­ana on Satur­day.

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