Penn State returns to the gridiron this week , and they will be facing an Indiana Hoosier’s team looking for their first EVER victory over a Nittany Lions squad. That’s right folks, Indiana is the only Big Ten team that has yet to defeat Penn State (0-16)! Don’t think the players in Bloomington don’t know that fact either. Players like senior TE Ted Bolser say they are reminded of that fact every time they play Penn State.
While Indiana may never have beaten Penn State, some of the games have produced the backdrop for some important events. In 2004, Tom Bradley’s defense used a late 4th quarter goal line stand to hold off Indiana 22-18. That win propelled the Nittany Lions to a victory in their finale the next week against Michigan State, and it was impetus for the 2005 team’s run to the Orange Bowl and #3 national ranking. In 1994, Penn State was the #1 team in the country when they came into Bloomington. The Nittany Lions did not play a particularly stellar game, and a late Hail Mary connection for Indiana allowed the final score to be closer than the game really was. Penn State prevailed 35-29, but the following week, Nebraska leapfrogged Penn State in the polls and later the Cornhuskers were crowned national champions (I still dispute that though!). And, of course, last year, while facing Indiana, senior LB and team captain Michael Mauti re-injured his surgically repaired knee while trying to make a tackle. Not a pleasant memory for sure, but one that lingers.
Indiana has been a Big Ten program on the rise since Kevin Wilson took over the reigns in 2011. They play an up-tempo, spread-you-out type of offense that has generated lots of points so far this season. Unfortunately for Hoosier fans, the defense has been a sieve allowing opposing teams to run at will and score even more points. In order for Penn State to win today’s game, they need to keep the Indiana offense off the field, and make a enough plays on defense to thwart some Indiana drives.
Continue reading to see what I think Penn State will need to do to keep Indiana winless all-time against Penn State.