Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg began to show a different part of his game in the Nittany Lions’ last two outings.
Prior to an Oct. 3 win over Army at Beaver Stadium, his longest rush of the season was for five yards (vs. Temple). But he broke loose for a career-long 19-yard dash against the Black Knights.
Then in Saturday’s home victory over Indiana, Hackenberg turned into Randall Cunningham. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But the junior did do more with his legs in a game than anyone had ever seen before, prompting PSU coach James Franklin to quip, “I think now we'll have conversations about him being a dual-threat quarterback and installing the option.”
Removing the sacks that count against a QB’s rushing total in college football (has anyone ever figure out that one?), Hackenberg carried five times for 34 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
His two rushing TDs in a single game were not only a career high, but also the first time he ran for a score since his freshman year (when he had four TD carries).
Saturday’s effort also included a career-long 22-yard bolt that, according to running back Nick Scott, had the QB a little gassed once he got back to the huddle.
“I said, you didn’t get 22 carries, it was just 22 yards,” Scott recalled with a laugh.
Teammates have some fun talking about Hackenberg’s rushing performance in the video above.