BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Michael Penix forced overtime with a 2-point conversion run with 22 seconds left, then scored on a diving 2-point conversion to give Indiana a season-opening 36-35 upset victory over No. 8 Penn State — ending the Big Ten’s longest streak of consecutive losses to Top 10 teams at 42.
The winning play went to a replay review before the officials announced the initial call stood.
Indiana beat the Nittany Lions for the second time in 24 matchups, and beat a Top 10 foe for the first time since a 31-10 victory at Ohio State on Oct. 10, 1987.
And it took every trick in the book to get it done.
“All I’d seen was an opportunity, an opportunity to go out and show the world what the Indiana Hoosiers are all about,” Penix said. “They were playing man, so we’ve got to score to win the game and I wasn’t going to let my team down, so I went out and gave it my all.”
After Indiana failed to gain a first down after Sean Clifford threw a go-ahead 60-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson with 2:30 left, coach Tom Allen instructed his defense to let Penn State score.
Devyn Ford obliged with a 14-yard run with 1:42 to go. Penix then took the Hoosiers down the field, scored on a 1-yard TD run with 22 seconds to go, added the 2-point conversion and eventually wound up in overtime after Jordan Stout’s 57-yard field goal came up short with 3 seconds left in regulation.
“In really six years at Penn State and 10 years of being a head coach, we’ve not been a team to commit penalties and we’ve not been a team to get turnovers, and tonight we had both,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “We finally got into a rhythm in the second half a little bit, but you can’t not play well on the road in the Big Ten against good opponents.”
Penn State made it 35-28 when Clifford hooked up with Parker Washington in overtime, but Whop Philyor caught a 9-yard TD pass for the Hoosiers and Penix won it when he dove for the goal line and the ball hit the pylon.
Penn State: The mistakes were overwhelming. The Nittany Lions had three red-zone possessions that produced no points, two interceptions, two missed field goals, one lost fumble, a a muffed punt and a fumbled kickoff return in addition to Ford’s late scoring play and the late defensive breakdowns. Coach James Franklin needs to get things cleaned up fast.
Indiana: Coach Tom Allen’s team took a huge step Saturday. He knew they needed to start beating ranked teams and this one certainly went a long way. He took the gamble and it paid off. The defense played well but the offense was out of sync until the final minutes. Indiana gained just 211 yards and had the ball for 19:35.
Penn State will slip in the Top 25, perhaps precipitously. Though the defense was suffocating until late and should keep the Nittany Lions close all season, the offense and special teams played nowhere close to a championship level. Expect the Hoosiers to reappear in the Top 25 next week.
Less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, Penn State thought it had another turnover when receiver Miles Marshall fumbled at the end of a 17-yard completion.
Instead as Marshall lay motionless on the field, linebacker Jesse Luketa was ejected for targeting. The penalty moved the ball to the Penn State 27 and set up Campbell for his second field goal.
The wobbly Marshall eventually got up and was helped to the locker room by two trainers.
Penn State: Hosts No. 5 Ohio State next Saturday.
Indiana: At Rutgers next Saturday.