Hoosier Comeback Falls Short Against Nittany Lions
Oct. 20, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Penn State's defense stood up to Indiana.
The Nittany Lions forced four second-half turnovers, three of which led to short field goals, and Rodney Kinlaw ran for the clinching touchdown in a 36-31 victory Saturday.
Penn State (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) is 11-0 all-time against Indiana, including 5-0 in Bloomington.
While Penn State became bowl eligible, the Hoosiers (5-3, 2-3) must wait at least one more week to end their bowl drought, which dates to 1993 and is the longest in the conference.
Anthony Morelli was 22-of-32 for 195 yards with two touchdowns, and Kinlaw ran 22 times for 66 yards and the final score.
But it was Penn State's defense that put the finishing touches on the win when the Lions recovered Kellen Lewis' third fumble of the game in the final minute and ended the Hoosiers' comeback bid.
The problems began when Indiana punt returner Tracy Porter fumbled early in the third quarter, and A.J. Wallace recovered at the Hoosiers' 13 to set up Kevin Kelly's 22-yard field goal that made it 23-14.
After it appeared Indiana would answer, following Marcus Thigpen's 57-yard kickoff return to the Penn State 44, the Hoosiers wound up punting.
And when Indiana climbed back within 23-17 and were driving for a go-ahead touchdown, the game swung on back-to-back plays.
Lewis lost the ball when he was sacked by Maurice Evans, who scooped up the ball and ran it back 55 yards to the Indiana 13. Four plays later, Kelly kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 26-17 - a kick that broke Craig Fayak's school record of 50 career field goals.
The next time Lewis touched the ball, Evans forced another fumble and Phil Taylor recovered at the Indiana 7. That led to another 20-yard field goal from Kelly and a 29-17 lead.
Indiana closed to 29-24 midway through the fourth quarter when 6-foot-7 receiver James Hardy outjumped a Penn State defender for a 7-yard touchdown reception, his second of the game. That was Hardy's 31st career TD reception, breaking the Hoosiers long-standing record of 30 set by Jade Butcher.
But Kinlaw scored on a 5-yard run with 4:03 left to give the Nittany Lions the win.
Lewis did manage a 56-yard TD run with 2:57 left, but he fumbled again at the Indiana 29 where it was recovered by Abe Koroma.
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