Penn State improved their record to 6 – 1 (3 – 0 Big Ten) on the season by defeating Purdue 23 – 18 on Homecoming Weekend in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions were able to move the ball quite effectively today without one of their biggest weapons on offense, Derek Moye. Sophomore running back Silas Redd paced the Nittany Lions by rushing for 131 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. The Nittany Lions defense continued their stellar play by limiting the Boilermakers to 15 first downs and was incredibly opportunistic coming away with three interceptions. This was a very big win for Penn State especially with the Buckeyes pulling off the upset in Champaign this afternoon, beating the Fighting Illini 17 – 7. Penn State and Wisconsin are now the only teams in the Big Ten Leaders Division with undefeated conference records. The Nittany Lions need to take care of business next week against Northwestern and cannot afford to look past the Wildcats in spite of the looming matchup against Illinois two weeks from today.
Penn State got on the board first when Curtis Dukes scored his first touchdown of the season by punching it into the end zone from one yard out, capping a 7 play 73 yard drive. Purdue answered right back by kicking a 28 yard field goal on their second drive of the game making the score 7 – 3. The Boilermakers added another field goal from 32 yards with 8:30 left to play in the second quarter bringing Purdue to within one point of the lead. Purdue was driving late in the second quarter hoping to get into field goal position when they called a timeout with about 20 seconds left in the first half. Penn State intercepted the first of three passes on the very next play and a good return by Nathan Stupar along with a Purdue personal foul gave the Nittany Lions great field position at the Boilermaker 12. After two unsuccessful plays Penn State settled for a 29 yard field goal which was the last play of the first half. Penn State went into the locker room leading 10 – 6 at the half.
The Nittany Lions opened the scoring in the second half and increased their lead to 13 – 6 on a 40 yard field goal by Anthony Fera, his second of the day. Once again the Boilermakers answered the call, scoring on their very next possession. Quarterback, Caleb TerBush, hit O.J. Ross with a 14 yard touchdown strike making the score 13 – 12. However, the very reliable Carson Wiggs missed the extra point which would come back to haunt the Boilermakers later in the game. To add insult to injury Wiggs’ kickoff went out of bounds and Penn State was in business with the ball at the PSU 40 yard line. The Nittany Lions took advantage of the good field position by putting together a 4 play 60 yard drive which culminated with Silas Redd’s 8 yard touchdown run. Penn State now up by a score of 20 – 12 intercepted Caleb TerBush on the very next drive. Penn State looked like they were going to capitalize on this turnover too moving the ball to the Boilermaker 23. However, Matt McGloin threw a pass that was batted around a couple of times at the goal line before being hauled in by Albert Evans of Purdue. The interception was returned 55 yards setting up the Boilermakers with great field position. Purdue used that shift in momentum to put together an 8 play 45 yard touchdown drive. Now down by two points because of the missed extra point, Purdue went for two but the Nittany Lions defense stood tall stopping their conversion attempt. With Penn State clinging to a two point lead they were looking for someone provide them with a spark and that’s just what they got on the very next play. Chaz Powell received the ensuing kickoff and returned it 92 yards before being tackled at the 3 yard line. However, a personal foul pushed the Nittany Lions back to the 18. Although their drive stalled at the 12 Penn State was able to tack on 3 more points extending their lead to 23 – 18. With 2:36 left in the fourth quarter Purdue started their last drive of the game at their own two yard line. The Boilermakers were able to move the ball out to the 8 yard line before throwing their third interception of the game sealing the game for Penn State.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Hall
I have been an avid sports enthusiast my whole life and currently live in the greater Philadelphia area. So it goes without saying that I catch a lot of flack for being a die hard Redskins and Yankees fan. However, I also cheer for the Nittany Lions which provides me with a little bit of a reprieve.