Penn State turned away Indiana on its only two possessions inside the 20-yard line during the Nittany Lions’ 24-0 win Saturday night at Beaver Stadium.
Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie tackled running back Stephen Carr for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Penn State 4 in the first quarter. And Brandon Smith blocked Charles Campbell’s 30-yard field goal try in the third quarter.
Ebiketie’s stop came after Hoosiers defensive back Raheem Layne returned Sean Clifford’s interception 23 yards to the Penn State 13.
“That’s the standard,” Ebiketie said about the defensive stand. “That’s what we do. We believed we were going to do that, so we had no doubt. Just taking the field in that position, being able to get the stop and giving the ball back to our offense, it was big time.”
Ebiketie and Smith broke through the line on Campbell’s field goal attempt with the Lions leading 21-0. Smith got a hand on it to give Campbell his first miss.
“If you watch, they collapsed the whole side of the line, which was impressive,” Penn State coach James Franklin said.
Lions opponents have made just 15 trips inside the 20-yard line in five games and have come away with only five touchdowns and three field goals. Penn State is ranked second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in red zone defense.
“When they get down there, we just try to defend,” cornerback Daequan Hardy said. “That’s what we do. It’s taking pride in not giving up any points. That’s our only goal. If they don’t score, they don’t win.”
Penn State has allowed just 60 points in five games (12.0), which ranks third in the FBS.
Looking for consistency >> Penn State rushed for 209 yards against Indiana, but many of the yards came on a handful of carries.
Keyvone Lee had gains of 44 and 21 yards on a 96-yard scoring drive in the first half. Clifford ran for 44 yards on three scrambles. The Lions otherwise netted 100 yards on 37 carries.
“We were able to get the running game going,” Franklin contended. “That’s a really good sign for us.”
Penn State still ranks 92nd in the country with 132.6 rushing yards a game and 62nd in scoring (30.0).
“I think there are times where we do some really good stuff,” Franklin said about the offense. “We have to do it consistently. We throw the ball really well at times. We run the ball well at times. We just have to be more consistent in everything we do. But I think we’re close.”
Source: Berkshire mont