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Penn State’s Chop Robinson makes game-changing play in perhaps his final home game

STATE COLLEGE — Chop Robinson knew how hard he hit Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt when he burst off the edge in the third quarter Saturday.

He didn’t know he had forced Wimsatt to fumble.

“Honestly, I didn’t know it came out,” Robinson said. “When I hit him, I saw the shadow of the ball while it was in the air. When I saw it hit the ground, that’s when I jumped on top of it.”

The Penn State defensive end’s strip sack and fumble recovery made a difference, setting up a touchdown that sent the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions past Rutgers 27-6 on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium.

Five snaps after Robinson’s play, Kaytron Allen ran for a 3-yard touchdown that gave Penn State (6-2, 9-2) a 20-6 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

“Chop continues to play lights out,” Lions coach James Franklin said. “He has thrived, really since coming here.”

He’s made an impact since he transferred from Maryland before last season, He earned a starting job this season before suffering an undisclosed injury when he and an Ohio State offensive lineman banged heads last month.

He missed two games and returned last week in the loss to Michigan.

“It was hard being away from the team,” Robinson said, “but I knew it was the best thing for me missing those two games. When I came back, I knew I had to give it my all.”

He had five tackles Saturday, including two behind the line of scrimmage.

“With this probably being his last game at Beaver Stadium, he probably had a different sense of urgency and a chip on his shoulder,” linebacker Kobe King said. “He showed it today. He came out and played hard. He was disruptive all day.”

Robinson has one more year of eligibility remaining, but he has been projected to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Running game clicks: Penn State rushed for 234 yards Saturday, its third-highest total of the season, and averaged 6.0 yards per carry.

Backup quarterback Beau Pribula ran for a career-high 71 yards and one touchdown after replacing the injured Drew Allar. Kaytron Allen rushed for 69 yards on 16 attempts and two TDs, and Nick Singleton gained 61 yards on 11 carries.

The Lions began the day ranked third in the Big Ten and 45th nationally in rushing with 172.3 yards per game. They passed for just 88 yards, their second-lowest total of the season.

“I thought we had a good plan,” Franklin said. “When Beau comes into the game, defenses have to respect the zone. It changes how you call the game defensively.

“I think our backs ran extremely hard. I think we had a little more diversity with the running game, a few more punches that we could throw.”

Penn State improved to 37-5 when rushing for at least 200 yards since 2014.

By the numbers: Penn State has held 16 consecutive opponents to no more than 24 points since a 44-31 loss to Ohio State last October at home.

The Lions were 4-for-5 from the red zone, improving to 52-for-55 for the season.

Penn State attempted just 14 passes, its fewest since attempting 13 against Ohio State in 2015.

Rutgers has not scored a touchdown at Beaver Stadium since 1994.

The Lions’ Alex Felkins kicked field goals of 21 and 48 yards and improved to 16-of-19 for the season.

Source: Berkshire mont

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