Written by: TJ Inman
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1, 2-0) pulled away from the injury-depleted Indiana Hoosiers (4-2, 0-2) for a 29-7 victory. Indiana played without quarterback Nate Sudfeld and running back Jordan Howard and lost backup quarterback Zander Diamont early in the third quarter to a shoulder injury. The mounting injuries and a dominant Penn State defense limited the Hoosiers to only 234 yards of offense and one score.
Both offenses struggled at the outset but Penn State struck first with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Hackenberg to freshman wide receiver Brandon Polk. The Hoosiers would immediately respond with a nice drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Zander Diamont that tied the game at 7. Hackenberg connected for another 39-yard touchdown pass, this time to DaeSean Hamilton, to put Penn State ahead 13-7. The Nittany Lions added a score just before halftime as the PSU quarterback ran it in from two yards out. Kicker Joey Julius missed his second straight extra point to leave the score at 19-7 at halftime.
Indiana outplayed Penn State during the third quarter but neither team was able to put any points on the board. Eventually, injuries and penalties wore the Hoosiers down and Christian Hackenberg was able to put the game away with his second rushing touchdown, this time from 5 yards out. Penn State added a late field goal from 30 yards out and the contest ended at 29-7.
Hackenberg finished the day with 262 yards and four total touchdowns to pace the Nittany Lions. Nick Scott and Jordan Allen combined to run for more than 100 yards as Penn State played without running backs Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch. The Hoosiers were led on defense by two sacks apiece from Zach Shaw and Nick Mangieri. Zander Diamont threw for 90 yards and ran for 38 before leaving the game early in the second half and Danny Cameron threw for 65 yards in his collegiate debut. Penn State will look to notch their sixth straight victory as they head to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers will spend the week trying to get healthy as they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and look for their fifth victory of the season next Saturday.