Indiana Report Card

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Who made the grade and who came up short in Penn State's high-scoring win Saturday. Check out Matt Herb's report card.

OFFENSE: The Lions had their ups and downs. They threw effectively for much of the game, with Anthony Morelli completing 22 of 32 attempts for 195 yards. But they also struggled in the red zone. When they could have put the game away with three fumble recoveries deep in Indiana territory in the second half, they instead settled for field goals, giving the Hoosiers renewed hope. Still, there's not much room for complaint after a 36-point outburst.
Grade: B

DEFENSE: Despite some strong individual efforts (take a bow, Maurice Evans), the Lions gave up a lot of yards and a lot of points. James Hardy came up big despite being matched up against Justin King much of the afternoon. Indiana has a dynamic offense and went into the game averaging 36 points a game to rank 23rd in the country. But Penn State's reputation for defensive fortitude is built on stopping - or at least slowing - teams like this. That didn't happen.
Grade: C

SPECIAL TEAMS: Jeremy Boone's 68-yard punt in the fourth quarter was one of the key plays in the game. Also, Kevin Kelly was 3 of 3 on field-goal tries. The Lions even got a big fumble recovery as A.J. Wallace alertly grabbed Tracy Porter's muffed punt in the third quarter. Kelly's missed extra point was the only big blemish.
Grade: B+

COACHING: Penn State took what the defense was giving rather than trying to impose its will on an opponent. The result: 387 yards of offense. More of this, please.
Grade: B

INTANGIBLES: The Lions didn't tighten up and ended up winning their first road game of the season. Memorial Stadium isn't the Big House or the Horseshoe, but that's got to count for something.
Grade: A

OTHER GUY: Indiana is vastly improved. The Hoosiers came out swinging and continued to fight even after falling behind by 12 points in the fourth quarter. They might have won, too, except that they're even more mistake-prone than Penn State. They didn't exactly give the game away, but they certainly had a hand in their own downfall.
Grade: B-

OFFICIALS: Few flags, a couple of good calls on bang-bang sideline plays, no replay controversies. The refs were on their way to a banner day. Then came that on-second-thought spot in the fourth quarter with Indiana driving.
Grade: B

CROWD: You're off to your best start in years, you're playing a marquee opponent, you're angling for your first bowl appearance since 1993 ... and you still can't sell out? On homecoming!? Come on, Indiana, you can do better than this.
Grade: C-

OVERALL: Some will question Indiana's legitimacy, but the Lions played their best road game in a year. They overcame an early deficit, came up with key turnovers, built a lead and responded with a touchdown drive when the Hoosiers threatened in the fourth quarter. It wasn't a perfect game - far from it - but it did supply this team with a feel-good moment and some momentum heading into next Saturday's epochal showdown with Ohio State.
Grade: B+

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