The No. 10 Nittany Lions are tied with Indiana 14-14 on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley completed 8 of 17 passes for 116 yards, while star running back Saquon Barkley was held to 21 yards on 15 carries.
The Nittany Lions scored on their opening drive for the fourth time in the last five games. Penn State faced a 3rd-and-7 after a pair of short gains to start the series, and Indiana blitzed makeshift offensive line.
With Brendan Mahon not on the travel roster, Chasz Wright started at right tackle and was tested early, as a "B" gap blitz forced McSorley right out of the pocket and toward the Penn State sideline. He kept his eyes downfield, though, and connected with Barkley for a 32-yard pass.
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McSorley followed that up with a 17-yard connection with Chris Godwin, and three plays later, on 3rd-and-10 on Indiana's 10-yard line, the redshirt sophomore quarterback dropped back to pass, moved up in the pocket after scanning the field, and took off for a touchdown run.
It's McSorley's sixth rushing score of the season.
However, more bad news for the offensive line struck as left tackle Paris Palmer hobbled off the field after McSorley's score. Palmer, who made his fourth straight start at the position after Andrew Nelson went down with a serious leg injury against Maryland, was carted to the locker room and did not return to action.
The following drive — and for the rest of the half — starting left guard Ryan Bates moved to left tackle while Derek Dowrey filled Bates' vacated position.
Penn State had a few more injury scares.
On the Nittany Lions' third drive of the half, Barkley pulled up a bit gimpy but remained in the game, and McSorley, along with tight end Mike Gesicki, had to briefly leave the field after incurring knocks. Following a Penn State timeout, Gesicki returned on a 4th-and-2 attempt from Indiana's 38 that was denied by the Indiana defense. McSorley returned on the next series with his left ankle taped.
Meanwhile, the Hoosier offense came alive to start the second quarter. Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow, who overthrew a couple potential touchdowns in the first quarter, was on-target during the Hoosiers' fourth drive. He hit Donavan Hale for a 27-yard gain on 2nd-and-23 from Indiana's 27-yard line — and Lagow kept rolling, connecting with Luke Timian for a 24-yard gain and later polishing the drive off with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Jones.
Indiana knotted the game at 7-7 with 12:13 left in the second quarter.
Despite that rhythm, the Hoosiers got in their own way all half long. Indiana had a total of four turnovers, and on the first three occasions, the Hoosiers weren't burned.
But Penn State finally capitalized on their fourth giveaway. On a 37-yard punt by Penn State's Blake Gillikin, the ball hit an Indiana player and was recovered by Christian Campbell on the Hoosier 6-yard line.
McSorley proceeded to hit Godwin for a play-action touchdown pass in the back of the end zone on the next play with 4:43 left in the half.
McSorley did, however, seem to catch the turnover bug from Indiana. Trying to push it down the field on Penn State's next drive, he was picked off for the first time since the Nittany Lions' 49-10 loss at Michigan. Rashard Fant returned the interception 34 yards to Penn State's 32.
The Hoosiers capitalized with a 12-yard touchdown run by Devine Redding with 1:00 left until the break.
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