WHAT LOOKED GOOD PART 1: There are a lot of contenders in this one. Let's start with the run defense. Each of IU's first four opponents had ran for at least 131 yards on the Hoosiers. Navy busted loose for 444. Missouri, two weeks ago, had 50 carries for 280 yards and three scores. Saturday, IU only allowed 70 yards rushing on 38 carries. And that was against a Penn State team that had piled up at least 193 yards on the ground in each of the last three games. In its last game against Kent State, Penn State for 287 against Kent State. A big key for the Hoosiers was making some early down stops in the second half in particular and forcing the Penn State offense into more known play calls.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD PART 2: Special teams played a huge role in this one for Indiana. Defensive tackle Ralphael blocked a field goal. Linebacker Steven Funderburk had a forced fumble on a kickoff return that led to a touchdown and Cody Latimer recovered it for the Hoosiers at the Penn State 9. Latimer also recovered an onsides kick attempt by Penn State. Punter Erich Toth averaged 41.5 yards on six punts but had two inside the 20 including a 37-yard punt late in the game that was downed at the 5. Mitch Ewald connected on both of his field goals in less than desirable wind and weather conditions making him a perfect 3-for-3 this season.
WHAT LOOKED GOOD PART 3: Tip your hat to the play of Tre Roberson. On three consecutive touches, Roberson scored on a two-point conversion, scored on a 2-yard touchdown run into the middle of the line and went around the left end for a 9 yard TD score. With IU in ball control mode late in the game, he also took charge of the offense. Overall a big time performance for the redshirt sophomore quarterback.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:There were a couple of big penalties in this game that could have come back to haunt the Hoosiers. In a 7-7 tie, IU had a second and goal at the 4 and appeared to score a touchdown on a pass from Nate Sudfeld to Shane Wynn but Ralston Evans was flagged for being down field too far. IU would eventually have to settle for a field goal on that drive. Later, a pass interference call on Kenny Mullen (perhaps a questionable call?) was part of a drive that led to a Penn State touchdown and a 14-13 lead for the Nittany Lions early in the third quarter. Finally, a roughing the passer penalty on Forisse Hardin was part of Penn State's final touchdown drive. IU only had five penalties in the game for 42 years but there were some critical ones.
MOMENTUM CHANGER: Two candidates. Indiana led 21-14 and Penn State was driving toward a potential game-tying touchdown. The Lions had third and 6 at the IU 7 when John Laihinen came up with a huge 5 yard sack of Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. On the second one, with IU leading 28-17, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien went for it on fourth-and-2 at his own 33. Bobby Richardson knocked down the pass attempt at the line of scrimmage.
SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:From a team standpoint, the victory marked the first time in history that IU has defeated Penn State. The Nittany Lions were 16-0 against the Hoosiers. Also, IU won its Big Ten opener for the first time since 2000. Antwaan Randle El was the quarterback on that team that knocked off Iowa to go 1-0 on the year. … Cody Latimer recorded his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game and did so with a career high nine catches and a career high 140 yards. … Another wide receiver, Kofi Hughes, became the 19th Hoosier of all time to record 100 yards receptions and 1,000 yards receiving for his career. … Tevin Coleman ran for 92 yards and caught seven passes for another 55 yards. … Junior safety Mark Murphy had a game-high 10 tackles and cornerback Tim Bennett had eight tackles and broke up a career-high four passes.
BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:You could make an argument for a couple of different areas but I'll go with the defensive line. That unit limited a potent Penn State rushing team to 70 yards on 38 carries and made one big play after another. Penn State went for it on fourth down five times and only converted once
UP NEXT: Indiana will go on the road Saturday for the first time this season and travel to East Lansing for a Noon kickoff against the Spartans. Michigan State won Saturday, 26-14 at Iowa
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch