2011 Penn State Football
Penn State @ Indiana Football Recap
Penn State 16, Indiana 10
The sport of football did not win new fans or admirers this past weekend in the home of the Hoosiers, that’s for sure.
The Penn State Nittany Lions overcame a shaky performance and won an ugly, turnover-filled Big Ten opener at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. Penn State outgained Indiana 464-256, but struggled to score all afternoon. To put a finer point on the Nits’ problems – call it “Nit picking” in many different ways - the Penn State offense turned the ball over inside the Indiana five-yard line twice.
The biggest play of the game was a 74-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to Derek Moye that gave the Nittany Lions a 13-3 lead late in the third quarter, busting open a tight 6-3 affair and enabling the visitors from Happy Valley to breathe a lot more freely. Moye finished with six catches for 158 yards. Silas Redd carried 29 times for 129 yards for Penn State.
McGloin, who again split time at quarterback with Rob Bolden, completed 10 of 22 passes for 204 yards. Bolden completed six of 14 passes for 67 yards and an interception. The majority of Penn State fans and analysts pointed to the need to make Bolden the primary guy at quarterback before the season started, but the speedy signal caller, who can make improvisational plays with his legs, continues to show a manifest inability to read defenses and perform the simple kinds of tasks that have to be second-nature for a quarterback. As long as Bolden fails to deliver the goods, Penn State’s offense will be limited with the skill set of McGloin, a competent quarterback but a man who lacks Bolden’s upside.
Dusty Kiel made his first career start at quarterback for Indiana. He completed 22 of 45 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Kiel replaced Edward Wright-Baker, who struggled in an ugly loss at North Texas last week. Kiel’s stat line shows two things: first, he averaged just seven yards per completion and under five yards per attempt. Those are two abysmal statistics that new Indiana coach Kevin Wilson simply can’t tolerate. A second point in dissecting Kiel’s performance is that he threw a boatload of passes and still couldn’t hit at least 50 percent of them. If any team is going to chuck the rock 45 times in a game, at least 27 passes (60 percent) need to be completed if not 30. It’s because of such ineffectiveness that Penn State was able to gain a 10-point lead despite playing poorly on offense in its own right.
After taking the ten-point third-quarter lead, McGloin led the Lions on a 13-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard Anthony Fera field goal with 10:10 left in the fourth. Fera was successful on three of four field goal attempts.
A five-yard pass from Kiel to tight end Ted Bolser with 3:51 left brought Indiana back to within six points, 16-10. Indiana regained possession with 2:06 left, but couldn’t score a game-winning touchdown. Kiel’s last desperation pass fell incomplete as time expired. It was a symbolically appropriate ending to an afternoon in which two offenses were… well… offensive.
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