Penn State learned touchdowns aren’t always the objective in football in its stunning 36-35 overtime loss to Indiana on Saturday.
Ahead 21-20 with 1:47 in the fourth quarter and the Hoosiers down to one timeout, Nittany Lions running back Devyn Ford broke through the line of scrimmage, crossed the first-down marker and should have voluntarily gone to the ground so his team could run out most of the clock. Instead, Ford failed to pull up before reaching the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown, gifting Indiana the chance to get the ball back with plenty of time remaining in a one-possession game.
Ford appeared not to realize the context of the play until it was too late.
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Indiana drove 75 yards in seven plays on its ensuing possession, scoring a touchdown off a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Michael Penix to make the game 28-26 with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. Penix took it in for a 2-yard keeper to convert the 2-point conversion and tie the game at 28-28.
The Hoosiers answered a touchdown in overtime with a score of their own, and went for the winning 2-point attempt. They converted in dramatic fashion:
The result was No. 8 Penn State’s first loss to Indiana since 2013 and the Hoosiers’ first top-10 win since 1987.
Coach James Franklin’s squad is now almost certainly eliminated from College Football Playoff contention just hours into its delayed 2020 season.