No. 4 Penn State-Indiana observations: Heisman hopeful Saquon Barkley does it all

No. 4 Penn State-Indiana observations: Heisman hopeful Saquon Barkley does it all


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Heisman Trophy hopeful Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and No. 4 Penn State built a 28-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 45-14 victory Saturday afternoon over Indiana.

DaeSean Hamilton also caught three touchdown passes, two from quarterback Trace McSorley and another from Barkley — as the Lions improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2008.

Hamilton had nine receptions in the game to raise his career total to 181, a school record. Deon Butler, who played at Penn State from 2005-08, held the previous mark (179).

McSorley went 23 for 36 for 315 yards and two TDs. He was sacked five times and intercepted once.

Barkley, who entered the game leading the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (253.3), finished with 205. He rushed for just 56 on 20 carries, but contributed 51 on four receptions, in addition to his kickoff return.

Indiana fell to 2-2.

• Backup cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields threw an early block on Barkley’s kickoff return, and Barkley then burst through the first wave of pursuit. At the 40, he juked kicker Griffin Oakes before outracing DeVonte Williams down the right sideline to complete the 98-yard play. It was Penn State’s first kickoff-return touchdown since Chaz Powell took one back 95 yards against Indiana State in 2011.

• The Lions recorded two special-teams touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2001. Besides Barkley’s return, safety Nick Scott scooped up a fumble by IU punt returner J-Shun Harris and took it 13 yards for a scorer. Backup wide receiver Irv Charles forced the fumble.

• In between those two TDs, Lions cornerback Christian Campbell pried the ball free from running back Morgan Ellison, with linebacker Jason Cabinda recovering at the IU 39. Two plays later, McSorley hit a wide-open Juwan Johnson for a gain of 24 on a crossing route, setting up a one-yard TD keeper by the quarterback with 11:41 left in the period.

• A roughing-the-punter penalty greatly aided PSU’s nine-play, 73-yard drive at the end of the quarter, as did Barkley’s one-handed catch of McSorley’s swing pass, followed by a 36-yard burst. McSorley later hit DaeSean Hamilton for an eight-yard TD, making it 28-0.

• The Lions’ promising start was followed by a flat second quarter, in which the Hoosiers outgained PSU 146-22 and scored twice, on Ricky Brookins’ three-yard run and Peyton Ramsey’s 18-yard pass to Simmie Cobbs, cutting the Lions’ lead to 28-14.

• PSU managed two first downs in that period, and McSorley threw his fourth interception of the season. The pick, by Jonathan Crawford, was the Hoosiers’ first of the season. They also recorded three of their four first-half sacks in the second quarter.

• Tyler Davis missed a 21-yard field goal early in the third quarter, and while he connected from 45 yards later in the period, missed a 42-yarder in the fourth. He is now 5 for 11 on the season. Beforehand he was 30 for 32, and both the misses were blocks.

• A flag was thrown after Hamilton caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from McSorley in the third quarter, as the receiver was jousting with IU cornerback Chase Dutra. The officials ruled that no foul occurred, however, and the score stood.

• Hamilton’s final TD came on a 16-yard option pass from Barkley with 4:13 remaining in the game.

• While Chasz Wright, the starting right tackle the first three games of the season, returned after missing last week’s victory at Iowa, Will Fries earned his first career start at that position. Fries had played most of the game against the Hawkeyes in relief of Andrew Nelson. Nelson, who has suffered injuries to both knees in his PSU career, did not dress against IU because of an undisclosed injury.

• Also returning for PSU was cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who sat out the two previous games with an undisclosed injury. He recorded a third-quarter interception and returned the ball 17 yards to the IU 21, only to see Davis miss his field goal.

• Tight end Mike Gesicki, a fixture on preseason All-America teams, also departed with what appeared to be a shoulder injury in the second quarter. He did not return.

• The Lions visit Northwestern (2-2) next week.

Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple

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Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Josh Reaves had his second career double-double, Shep Garner hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes and Penn State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat Temple 63-57 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Reaves shot 7 of 10 from the field, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tony Carr missed 10 consecutive field-goal attempts before scoring his first points of the game on a jumper that pulled Penn State within four with 6:20 to play. That sparked a 16-2 run to give the Nittany Lions a 62-54 lead with 16 seconds left.

Reaves and Garner hit back-to-back 3s to make it 54-all before John Harrar's layup with 1:52 remaining gave Penn State its first lead since 4-3. The Owls made just 1 of 9 from the field and committed three turnovers during the span.

Shizz Alston Jr. led Temple (17-16), which led for more than 35 minutes, with 15 points and Josh Brown added 14.

Carr and Garner -- who came in averaging 19.9 and 11.1 points per game, respectively -- combined to score 10 on 3-of-19 shooting for the Nittany Lions (22-13).

The Owls made just 5 of 14 free throws while Penn State hit 20 of 30.

It was the 93rd meeting between the schools, which are located less than 200 miles apart, but the first since 2011. The Nittany Lions snapped a seven-game skid in the series, dating to Dec. 9, 2000.

Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented

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Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented


NEW YORK — Purdue threw a little of everything at Penn State star Tony Carr, the Big Ten's leading scorer. Bigger guys. Smaller ones. Switches and some double teams.

Carr managed only 12 points in a woeful shooting game, and No. 8 Purdue separated from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory Saturday that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.

Third-seeded Purdue (28-5) faces No. 5 Michigan, which will try to repeat as tournament champs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Purdue frustrated Carr and held him to 4-of-18 shooting. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Nojel Eastern, 5-10 P.J. Thompson, 6-4 Dakota Mathias, 6-8 Vincent Edwards and 6-1 Carsen Edwards.

"When you have a good player like that it takes more than one guy because he's able to make shots and make plays over guys," Vincent Edwards said. "They just did a good job of taking up that space and being able to force him into tough shots."

Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with a career-high 33 points and the senior set a school record with 129 career points in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.

Against Penn State, Purdue used a 12-2 run the middle of the second half to build a 15-point lead. Carsen Edwards led the way, spinning through the lane for a driving layup and making a 3 from up top that made the score 59-44 with 9:15 left. He finished with 27 points and shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range after scoring 26 on Friday against Rutgers.

"It's a consistency," guard Dakota Mathias said of Edwards. "He's being very efficient, too."

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

Isaac Haas, the 7-2 center, added 17 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.

With Carr struggling, Penn State could not keep up. He picked up a third foul in the second half, a push off call that caused Penn State coach Pat Chambers to draw a technical.

"I think they were very physical," Chambers said. "Obviously that's why I felt like I needed to get T'd up, my first T in a long, long time."

Big Picture
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had a chance to work their way into the conversation for an NCAA at-large bid by beating Purdue, but now Penn State seems like a long shot at best. Chambers is still hopefully.

"Well, I'm an optimist," he said. "We have NCAA Tournament talent."

Purdue: The Boilermakers hit a rough patch losing three straight close games in early February to Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, but an argument can be made that they have been the Big Ten's most consistent team this season.

"We had an opportunity to win the Big Ten regular season. We kind of gave that away," said Thompson, one of four senior starters. "But we still had a goal of winning a Big Ten championship on our list before the season started and we put ourselves in position to be able to do that tomorrow."

Purdue does most everything well, except rebound. A night after giving up 17 offensive boards to Rutgers, the Boilermakers allowed 16 rebounds to Penn State.

Shep Shooter
Garner went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, including a four-point play, to carry Penn State in the first half. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.

Up Next
Penn State: An NIT bid is likely coming the Nittany Lions way, though the big question beyond March is whether Carr returns for another season or heads to the NBA draft.

Purdue: The Boilermakers swept the Wolverines in two games decided by a combined five points.

"Just a really skilled offensive team," Carsen Edwards said. "They have a lot of options. For us it's going to come down to defense and getting stops."