Gameday breakdown: Indiana at Penn State

November 17, 2012 

Indiana (4-6, 2-4) at Penn State (6-4, 4-2)

When: Noon

Where: Beaver Stadium

Series: Penn State leads 4-0 (12 Penn State wins vacated because of NCAA sanctions)

Last meeting: Penn State won 16-10 (Win vacated because of NCAA sanctions)

Coaches: Indiana – Kevin Wilson, second season, 5-17; Penn State – Bill O’Brien, first season, 6-4

Television: Big Ten Network (Announcers: Kevin Kugler, Chris Martin, J Leman)

Radio: WQWK 1450, WBUS 93.7 (Announcers: Steve Jones, Jack Ham)

The skinny: Will Indiana ever beat Penn State? The Hoosiers had another opportunity last year, falling 16-10 at home. The game was one of six decided by 10 or less points in the series. Every time these teams meet it evokes memories of Penn State’s 22-18 victory in 2004, a game where Indiana coach Gerry DiNardo tried four straight runs from the 1-yard line in the final minutes. None worked and DiNardo is now working as an analyst for the Big Ten Network. ...Kevin Wilson is the latest dreamer trying to build a winner at Indiana. Four of his five wins have come this season. Indiana started showing progress by defeating Illinois 31-17 and Iowa 24-21 in consecutive weeks. Last week’s 62-14 loss against Wisconsin demonstrated how far the Hoosiers might be from being competitive against upper-tier Big Ten opponents. Wilson’s second season includes another loss to Ball State, a one-point loss at Navy and a narrow escape against Indiana State. His desperation was evident last recruiting season when he lured eight junior college transfers to Bloomington. The one solace for Indiana fans? Purdue is beatable and the school’s popular basketball team is ranked No. 1.

Hoosier to watch: Cody Latimer — The 6-foot-3, 208-pound wide receiver is flourishing in an offense averaging 42.8 passing plays per game. Latimer has 707 receiving yards and averages 16.1 yards per catch. He’s Indiana’s version of Allen Robinson: a tall, productive, big-play sophomore with a promising future.

Nittany Lion to watch: Stephen Obeng-Agyapong — A nagging shoulder injury hasn’t slowed Obeng-Agyapong, one of Penn State’s fiercest hitters. The junior said he might undergo shoulder surgery after the season. Until then, the Nittany Lions will lean on him to slow Indiana’s passing attack.

Key matchup: Indiana’s pass offense vs. Penn State’s pass defense — The Hoosiers like to throw. When that doesn’t work, they like to throw again. When that doesn’t work, they like to throw more. Penn State’s thin secondary avoided injuries until free safety Malcolm Willis hobbled off the field last week at Nebraska’s He’s listed as day-to-day with a knee injury. Jake Fagnano steps into a starting job if Willis can’t play.

— By Guy Cipriano

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