No. 10 Penn State Hits the Road to Face the Hoosiers on Quest to Rose Bowl
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No. 10 Penn State Hits the Road to Face the Hoosiers on Quest to Rose Bowl

No. 10 Penn State (7-2, 5-1) will take to the road this weekend to take on the Indiana Hoosiers (5-4, 3-3) at Indiana. The game is slated for a noon kickoff on Saturday.

Penn State and Indiana have a mixed history together, with Indiana winning 45-24 at home against Penn State in 2013, and then Penn State demolishing Indiana, 29-7, in 2015 for homecoming.

“You look at statistically, up there year after year,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “So that will be a challenge for us. There’s no doubt about it.”

When the statistics are broken down, Penn State has the edge over Indiana in most categories, like 69% fourth down conversion compared to Indiana’s 24%. The Lions also bring 183.4 rushing yards to the Hoosier’s 170.7

Indiana squeaked by Michigan State, 24-21, Maryland, 42-36, and Rutgers, 33-27. Indiana lost to Northwestern, 14-24, Nebraska, 22-27, and Ohio State, 17-38.

Despite wins over lower-ranked Big Ten opponents, Indiana is bound to be a darkhorse. Indiana boasts a strong passing offense with 298.1 yards per game. Penn State, on the other hand, averages 231.6 yards.

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Junior safety Marcus Allen (Upper Marlboro, Md.) commented on Indiana’s solid offense.

“We’ve seen that they are a fast-paced team,” said Allen. “The quarterback is a nice, precise thrower. It’s going to be a good test for the secondary to see if we can shut them down.”

Quarterback Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.) noted that he is feeling confident heading into this weekend’s game thanks to the majority of the season’s toughest games under his belt.

“I think I’ve been able to be more comfortable and gain more confidence throughout the year,” said McSorley. “That’s something that I have been able to see… a bit better and see how things have been progressing and anticipate things a little bit better.”

Should Michigan win out, beating Ohio State this weekend and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Penn State has the best shot of going to the Rose Bowl.

However, it is imperative that Penn State win its remaining games against Indiana, Rutgers, and Michigan State.

“We love all the talk about being ranked… but we are so focused on the next game that we don’t really have our mind wrapped around it that much,” said Allen. “Right now, it is more about going on my phone to look at film… Yesterday, that’s all I was doing, looking at Indiana .”

Penn State clearly has its eyes on the prize this Saturday and are hoping that fans will travel well to Indiana and continue the intense Penn State pride that has propelled the team to No. 10 in the rankings. Tune in to ABC this Saturday at noon to support your Nittany Lions!