IU: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the better late than never from Penn State's slow-starting, fast-finishing win over outmanned Indiana.

In beating Indiana 34-7 at Beaver Stadium Saturday, Penn State improved to 10-1 on the season and 6-1 in the Big Ten. With a victory over Michigan State in Happy Valley next week, the Nittany Lions will secure the conference title and lock themselves into no worse than the Rose Bowl.

If it happens, and the program reaps the millions of dollars that go along with a BCS bowl bid, here is an idea for how to spend some of that cash: new alarm clocks.

Because if the win over the Hoosiers proves anything, it is that Penn State struggles to wake up for kickoffs. Saturday's game started a noon, and — once again — the Nittany Lions sleep-walked through the first quarter before starting to get their collective act together.

“I think we were sloppy at times in the first half,” PSU coach Joe Paterno said.

Against an IU team now 3-8 overall and 1-6 in the league, State led by just 10-7 at the break. The Lions erupted for 17 points in the third quarter to blow it open, though, before cruising to victory.

Here is how it went down.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Penn State's Derrick Williams did a little of everything, catching four passes for 62 yards and a score, carrying four times for 61 yards and a score, and generating 41 yards in the return game.

CLOSE SECOND: Lion defensive end Aaron Maybin had five tackles, including a sack. He did a good job of pressuring mobile Hoosier quarterback Kellen Lewis all game.

TURNING POINT: After Penn State punter Jeremy Boone's kick was downed at the IU 1-yard-line in the second quarter, the Hoosiers went three and out. Lion Nate Stupar blocked Chris Hagerup's punt to give PSU possession at the Indiana 20. State only got a field goal out of the situation, but it gave the Lions a 10-7 lead and momentum heading into the second half.

SOLID STRATEGY: Penn State went with a nice mix of the run (four) and pass (four) on its touchdown drive to open the third quarter. Evan Royster's 19-yard blast for a score gave the Lions a 17-7 lead.

NUMBERS GAME: Indiana's six first downs were the fewest by a conference opponent since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993. The Hoosiers only had one first down in the second half.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: And outstanding effort by the Lions' defensive line helped limited IU to 180 total yards. And 76 of those yards came on a two-play drive in the second quarter, when the entire PSU defense appeared lost.

CONGRATS: Lion senior Deon Butler became Penn State's all-time leading receiver with a 15-yard catch in the first quarter. Butler entered the game tied with Bobby Engram atop the list with 167. He finished with five grabs for 56 yards and a score.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Penn State's punt coverage was generally strong. A.J. Wallace down Boone's aforementioned kick at the IU 1-yard line. Earlier, snapper Andrew Pitz downed a Kevin Kelly pooch at the Indiana 2. However…


• Penn State gave up its longest punt return of the season, a 29-yarder by Ray Fisher.

• Lion quarterback Daryll Clark looked shaky at times again, with two more fumbles and an interception. On a positive note, he connected on 20 of 36 passes for 240 yards and a score.

• Royster was used sparingly in the game, with only a dozen carries for 63 yards and a score. Afterward, even starting center A.Q. Shipley wondered why the tailback did not get the pig more often, saying, “We've got to get Royster some more carries. He's a big-time running back.”

• As was noted earlier, the Penn State offense had another awful start in a noon kick, with only three first downs and no points in the first quarter.

HIT SQUAD: Hoosier linebacker Geno Johnson decked Royster on a 4-yard gain midway through he third quarter.

HIDDEN HERO: PSU starting left guard Rich Ohrnberger missed practice Monday and Tuesday to be home in New York with his father, who sustained a heart attack last Sunday. Ohrnberger returned to PSU Wednesday, prepared for the game and played. Afterward, he said his dad, who is doing much better, wanted him to play.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Jordan Norwood led the Lions with seven catches for 69 yards.


• Senior defensive end Josh Gaines started despite sustaining an ankle injury against Iowa. But the captain only played one series. That meant more action for Maybin, Maurice Evans and rookie Jack Crawford.

• After Royster's TD run, PSU's marketing people played Will Ferrell's “Cowbell” skit from Saturday Night Live on the big screens. It was obviously a play off the sign “Blue Royster Cult” that has been seen in Beaver Stadium all season.

• After flipping positions against Iowa, the guards Ohrnberger (left) and Stefen Wisniewski (right) were back at their normal positions. Backup Mike Lucian spelled both guards, though.

• The flags in Beaver Stadium were at half-mast following the passing of Pennsylvania lieutenant governor Catherine Bake Knoll earlier in the week.

NICE TOUCH: Prior to the game, there was a moment of silence in the press box to honor the passing of Charlotte Fisher. The wife of former Penn State radio play-by-play voice Fran Fisher passed away earlier in the week, too.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: With the Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl bid on the line, will the Lions come out with more spark for their Senior Day game against Michigan State next week? The good news is that contest kicks at 3:30 p.m.


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