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 commit arrested for armed robbery of Wawa

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Penn State commit arrested for armed robbery of Wawa

This post appeared on College Football Talk on Saturday

Or will that be former Penn State recruit?

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Isheem Young was one of three individuals arrested Friday in connection with the armed robbery of a Wawa convenience store in South Philadelphia this past summer. One of the two alleged accomplices is Young’s brother, the manager of the store that was robbed, while the other an unnamed getaway driver.

The Inquirer reports that the 18-year-old Young is facing charges of robbery, conspiracy, firearms violations and related offenses. He is currently being held in lieu of a $150,000 bond.

It’s alleged that Young and his partners in crime made off with $13,600 in cash from the store’s safe. A police report stated that Young entered the store armed with a black revolver and committed the robbery.

Young committed to play his college football at Penn State in mid-July; two weeks later is when he allegedly committed the crime. He was 17 years old when the incident happened.

A four-star 2018 recruit, he’s rated as the No. 12 safety in the country, the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania and the No. 151 player overall on‘s composite board.

The new early-signing period for college football, incidentally, kicks off in less than three weeks.

Penn State can't get by Khalil Iverson, Wisconsin

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Penn State can't get by Khalil Iverson, Wisconsin


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The last 48 hours weren't easy for the Wisconsin Badgers who had all day Sunday plus a long flight into Happy Valley on Monday to stew over their worst home loss in nearly a decade.

Penn State nearly extended that misery, but a potential go-ahead 3-pointer by Tony Carr bounced off the rim with two seconds to play and the Badgers held on for a 64-63 win.

"It's nice to see a bounce back and look like a Wisconsin team should look," Badgers coach Greg Gard said.

Khalil Iverson scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half, Nate Reuvers added 11 points and Ethan Happ grabbed 10 rebounds for the Badgers (4-5, 1-1 Big Ten), who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Mike Watkins scored a career-high 22 points for the Nittany Lions (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) who battled back from a 17-point deficit with 9:40 to play. Carr added 16 points and Shep Garner made 13 for the Nittany Lions who were trying for their first 2-0 start in conference play since 2007.

Penn State played its third game, and first at home, in six days and struggled to shoot the ball for most of the night. The Nittany Lions made just 9 of 26 field goals in the first half, trailed 31-25 at halftime and were just 3-for-21 over the final 1:50 of the first and the first 10 minutes of the second.

"We dug a little deeper because we looked very sluggish in the first half," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.

The Badgers led 51-36 with 9:40 to play, but Garner drained back-to-back jumpers shortly thereafter to spark a 21-9 run that cut Wisconsin's lead to 60-57 with 1:53 left.

A pair of Garner free throws with less than a minute to play made it a one-point game before the teams traded free throws over the final 43 seconds. D'Mitrik Trice closed it out at the line on 4-of-4 shooting for the Badgers.

"I knew we'd have to be really dialed-in and gritty and persevere," Gard said. "I expected the whole game to be like the last four minutes and fortunately we were able to make enough plays and get enough stops to hang on."

Built Ford tough
Carr got his shot after forward Aleem Ford bounced the game's final free throw off the rim on the other end of the floor. He didn't get another chance thanks in part to Ford's hustle to get back on defense.

When Carr's shot rang off the rim, it took a bounce toward a Penn State player in the corner. Ford grabbed hold of the ball to force a jump ball and prevent the Nittany Lions from getting any kind of chance.

Ford's late recovery came in the absence of usual post presences Happ and Davison, who both had fouled out.

"He really hustled for that loose ball," Gard said. "There were a lot of winning plays, so to speak that were made. "We need to make better decisions down the stretch so that it doesn't get to that point."

Trusting Carr
Chambers had no issue with Carr, who was just 5-for-22 from the field, pulling up for the final 3-pointer even though Penn State's crafty point guard might've had room toward the hoop.

The clock was ticking and Chambers trusts his leading scorer who entered the game with 20.6 points per game, 39 assists and 19-for-32 from 3-point range.

"Whatever Tony thought," Chambers said. "I'm not in his vision. I'm on the sideline. I don't know what he saw but he's a heck of a player and he makes really good decisions. So I'm going to trust that decision."

Tough stats to swallow
Wisconsin's bench chipped in 25 points to Penn State's one.

Meanwhile, of Penn State's 29 misses, 11 were layups that didn't fall.

The big picture
Wisconsin: The Badgers are the only team to have played four ranked opponents so far and were tied or within a basket with two minutes left in three of those games. They looked better than their record inside the Bryce Jordan Center, matching Penn State's physical play throughout and frustrating Penn State's shooters all night.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions continue to play solid defense, but those stingy efforts will be for nothing if Penn State's shooters continue to miss like they did early and midway through against the Badgers. Penn State finished 26 for 50 from the floor.

Up next
Wisconsin concludes a three-day trip through the Keystone State at Temple (4-2) on Wednesday.

Penn State hosts George Washington (4-4) on Saturday.