Penn State Vs. Indiana: Nittany Lions Win 41-24 After Big Second Half

Five Big Ten matchups are scheduled for this weekend. How will the games turn out, and who is looking to stay alive in the conference title race?

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College Football Bowl Games 2010: Could Penn State Be Headed To The Gator Bowl?

CBS Sports predicts that Joe Paterno and Penn State will head to the Gator Bowl to face the Florida Gators. The Gator Bowl will feature a mid-tier team from the Big Ten along with a mid-tier team from the SEC, so this makes some sense. Penn State is currently tied with Iowa for fourth in the Big Ten standings, behind Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Gator Bowl will select its Big Ten team after the BCS, Capital One and Outback Bowls get theirs.

The Gator Bowl hopes it can take Florida as its SEC team. The Big Ten team could be Penn State, Iowa or Michigan. Much could happen that would affect the college bowl schedule before that, though, and the Nittany Lions’ only remaining regular-season game is a very tough matchup against Michigan State. A key factor will be the likely possibility that the BCS decides to take a second Big Ten team, bumping the remaining teams up. In that scenario, Penn State could get as high as the Outback Bowl, which is a rung higher than the Gator Bowl and would also be against an SEC team, but that only seems likely if PSU can beat the Spartans.

Black Shoe Diaries wrote a good piece earlier this week on Penn State’s likely bowl destination. With the Nittany Lions’ win over Indiana today, Penn State could very well wind up in the Gator Bowl even if it loses against Michigan State. Michigan State and Ohio State would go to the BCS, Wisconsin would go to the Capital One Bowl, Iowa would be next in line and go to the Outback Bowl, and the Gator Bowl would probably pick Penn State over Illinois.

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Penn State Vs. Indiana: Nittany Lions Rally For Win

Sports Network | November 20, 2010

Landover, MD (Sports Network) – Matt McGloin threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns, as the Penn State Nittany Lions rallied for a 41-24 win over the Indiana Hoosiers in Big Ten action at FedEx Field.

Derek Moye had six catches for 90 yards for Penn State (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten), while the special teams broke the game open with a touchdown on a blocked punt in the third quarter.

Indiana (4-7, 0-7) has now lost five straight to fall out of bowl contention. Ben Chappell threw for 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the loss.

Evan Royster put Penn State on the board first with a two-yard touchdown run with just under seven minutes to play in the opening quarter, capping a 13- play, 87-yard drive that covered almost six minutes.

McGloin made it a 14-0 game with a three-yard touchdown pass to Brett Brackett to start the second quarter, this time following a nine-play, 96-yard drive.

The Hoosiers answered right back with a lengthy drive of their own (10 plays, 78 yards), and Trea Burgess found the end zone on a four-yard run to cut the deficit to 14-7.

A 42-yard field goal by PSU’s Collin Wagner made it a 17-7 game with 4:19 to play until halftime.

Once again the Hoosiers answered, as Chappell found Terrance Turner for a 12-yard touchdown pass to trim the margin to 17-14 with 2:35 remaining in the half.

Indiana tied the score at the 11:27 mark of the third quarter, following a 49- yard field goal by Mitch Ewald.

Penn State responded with a seven-play, 70-yard drive, capped by McGloin’s 21- yard touchdown pass to Moye to go ahead, 24-17.

The seesaw battle continued as Chappell moved his team down the field and tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Tandon Doss, tying the score at 24-24 with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter.

The Nittany Lions took a 31-24 lead thanks to a blocked punt, as James Van Fleet scooped up the ball and ran it 21 yards to the end zone.

Wagner tacked on a 35-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it a 34-24 game.

A one-yard touchdown plunge by Silas Redd gave the Nittany Lions a 41-24 lead with 3:20 to play, and the score would remain that way until the final whistle.

With the loss, IU has now lost 12 straight Big Ten games dating back to last season. The Hoosiers are now 0-14 all-time against Penn State.

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Penn State Vs. Indiana: Anthony Fera Out

Penn State will be without punter/kicker Anthony Fera for at least the rest of the regular season if not the Nittany Lions bowl game after he suffered an emergency appendectomy earlier this week, according to the Daily Collegian. Preferred walk-on Alex Butterworth with take over punting and kicking duties in Fera's absence.

Fera has been very effective for the Lions this year, notching 15 touchbacks on kickoff and ensuring the Penn State defense starts off with good field position frequently when it takes the field. With him gone, the Lions' kick coverage will have to step up, get down the field and make tackles against Indiana and Michigan State.

The Penn State special teams unit has improved considerably since last season and Fera has been a big reason why. If that success is to continue, Penn State will have to get contributions from other players in order to continue enjoying their advantage in the kicking game the rest of the way.

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College Football Picks: Week 12 Potential Big Ten Upsets

Will there be any Big Ten upsets this week? Let’s take a glance at the odds. Penn State is favored by 10 over Indiana, which seems about right. Purdue is a big, big dog against Michigan State. Wisconsin is favored by about five over Michigan, which seems very reasonable even though Michigan is playing at home. Ohio State is favored by about four over Iowa, and while our own Jeff Junstrom sees a win for the Hawkeyes at home, so that’s a possibility.

That leaves Northwestern and Illinois, two teams that have been a little tricky to get a handle on. Illinois is favored by about seven, and normally this would be a clear upset pick – Northwestern is coming off a win against Iowa, and they also managed to keep it close against Michigan State. But Northwestern’s victory last week was Pyrrhic, as they lost standout quarterback Dan Persa with a ruptured Achilles tendon. They’ll turn instead to the very green Evan Watkins. Northwestern’s offense is so strongly oriented around its quarterback that it’s tough to see how Watkins will keep up. So Illinois seems like a very clear pick in this one.

So will there be any upsets this week? Maybe not. If you had to pick one, it would probably be Iowa, or perhaps Michigan, which are both playing at home.

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Penn State Vs. Indiana: Hoosiers' Schedule Shows Why Nittany Lions Have An Edge

A glance at Indiana’s schedule shows us that, more than anything, the Hoosiers struggle against Big Ten competition. They’re 4-6 this year, but their four wins have come against early-season and homecoming schedule padding in Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron and Arkansas State. Those teams are pretty bad even by early season standards. Towson is 1-9, with losses against luminaries like Columbia, Richmond and James Madison. Western Kentucky is 2-8, again against substandard competition. Akron’s 0-11 record includes a loss against Gardner-Webb, which I’d never even heard of.

In other words, the Hoosiers haven’t beaten anyone yet. They’re 0-6 in Big Ten play. To their credit, they’ve kept it close against Michigan, Northwestern and Iowa. But they’ve also been blown out by Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin, the last of which racked up 83 points against them. The common thread throughout is that they allow their opponents to score at will: the only team that failed to score 20 against the Hoosiers was Towson, which had 17. Their offense is competent enough, scoring about 27 points per game, so expect this one to be a shootout no matter what happens but Penn State is the clear favorite here, and Matt McGloin should be licking his chops.

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Penn State Vs. Indiana: Mike Mauti Likely Out

Things aren't looking good for Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti.

"I think Mauti’s out," [coach Joe] Paterno said. "He’s had trouble with that so I doubt that he’ll make it."

Mauti has been growing into his outside linebacker spot this year after struggling with injuries through much of his Penn State career. He was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week after the Northwestern game, where he registered 11 tackles, three for loss and a sack. He dislocated his shoulder against Ohio State, however, a major reason for Penn State's defensive collapse in the second half.

Paterno expects linebackers Nate Stupar and Kahiri Fortt to replace Mauti in his absence in addition to Chris Colasanti if healthy. The coach also said he expects running back Stephfon Green to be okay after riding the cart off the field in Columbus on Saturday. Green has 175 yards on 44 carries so far in 2010. He's been seeing his playing time dip as a result of the emergence of freshman Silas Redd, however, that might change thanks to Redd's public urination citation this week...

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College Football Picks: Big Ten Week 11 Selections

The Big Ten title race is still wide-open, with three teams having only one in-conference loss, and 4-2 Iowa lurking just outside the top three. With Ohio State traveling to Iowa City this weekend, anything is possible in a race that will surely come down to the final week of the season, with Penn State potentially playing the role of spoiler for the Michigan State Spartans.

Minnesota has the week off after helping Ron Zook back onto the hot seat with a 38-34 victory over Illinois a week ago. Five conference games are scheduled for Saturday, and for the second straight week, ESPN's College Gameday will be on hand for a Big Ten game, setting up shop outside of Wrigley Field for the Illinois/Northwestern matchup. Another Big Ten game, Penn State vs. Indiana, will take place at a neutral field, as Indiana had sold the rights to this home game to FedEx Field in Washington DC for a reported $3 million, tripling their average home game revenue.

Penn State at Indiana (at FedEx Field). Penn State has played four halves of football in the past two weeks, and two of them have been marvelous while the other two have been downright awful. If the "good half" Penn State football team can show up for the entire game in FedEx Field, this will be an easy win for the Nittany Lions. Additionally, the game is being played in the fertile Penn State recruiting ground of the DC/MD/VA area, so this game could be a win on many fronts. Penn State 37, Indiana 13

Purdue at Michigan State. This Purdue football team is in a tailspin, and key injuries are mostly to blame for that. Miami transfer QB Robert Marve and WR Keith Smith are gone for the season, and the Boilermakers are struggling to find a replacement under center. Purdue needs to win both this game and next week against Indiana to become bowl-eligible, but the Spartans will be too much this week. Michigan State 41, Purdue 9

Wisconsin at Michigan. Michigan is finally bowl-eligible again after a win against Illinois two weeks ago, potentially saving head coach Rich Rodriguez from being fired at season's end. They have an electric (though human, as seen in last week's win over Purdue) QB in Denard Robinson, but they also have an anemic defense. Wisconsin put 83 points on the board last week against Indiana and is trying to stay ahead of all other Big Ten teams in the BCS standings, which might end up being the conference championship tiebreaker. Wisconsin 51, Michigan 38

Illinois at Northwestern (at Wrigley Field). With obvious amusement park jokes aside, Ron Zook's 2010 season has been one crazy roller coaster ride. They beat Penn State in exciting fashion but lost to Michigan in the highest-scoring Big Ten conference game in history. They played Ohio State close but went to the wire against Northern Illinois. Now, with only five wins (only three in-conference), Zook once again is on the hot seat. Back-to-back losses against Northwestern (who just upset Iowa) and Fresno State will keep the Illini from a bowl game this season. Northwestern 37, Illinois 18

Ohio State at Iowa. The marquee matchup of the week (despite what College Gameday may think), the Buckeyes travel to Kinnick Stadium to keep any chances of winning a sixth Big Ten title alive. The conference race is still wide open, but Ohio State needs a win this week to stay alive (barring other extremely rare scenarios). Iowa is coming off a loss to Northwestern, a team that has had a hex over the Hawkeyes in recent times. Ohio State keeps it close, but Iowa could rally the troops for an emotional win in QB Ricky Stanzi's final home game. Iowa 23, Ohio State 22

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