Penn State bounces back with an emotional victory over Indiana 45-22, beating the Hoosiers for the 16th time in 16 attempts, and solidifying a winning record for the season. Normally, such a day would be worth celebrating, unfortunately, the day was overshadowed by what appeared to be a serious knee injury to team leader Michael Mauti. Here are some highlights from win 7 on the season:
90,358, the lowest of the season for Penn State and the lowest since the 2001 Beaver Stadium expansion.
McGloin threw for a career-high 395 yards and 4 TDs. By the end of the game, McGloin held the school record for TD passes (45), single-season completions (251), and single-season passing yards (3,071). McGloin also recorded his 17th career 200 yd passing game and 6th 300 yd passing game – both school records.
Then there is the acrobatic Allen Robinson, who only needed one catch coming into the game to beat school single-season record for catches set at 64. He shattered the record, plus some, catching 10 passes for 197 yds and 3 TDs. Robinson now has the single-season reception mark with 73.
Ever the since the Virgina disaster, Ficken has been solid. Sure, all his attempts have been <40 yards, but it’s good to see some confidence and consistency in the kicking game.
Zwinak ball control
Despite another successful day on the ground, rushing for 135 yards, ball control continued to plague the young RB.
A number of prospects attended the game. Although attendance wasn’t ideal, the game and atmosphere did not disappoint.
Mauti, who has already battled back from two separate ACL injuries during his collegiate tenure, went down in the 1st quarter after being hit with a devastating and probably illegal chop block. The entire Nittany Lions team came out as the cart with Mauti drove away, a silent crowd rose to its feet, applauding Mauti as he was taken to the locker room, his hands on the front of his helmet. It is an unfortunate and sad end to Mauti’s college career, the emotional leader of the PSU team plagued with his 3rd knee injury.
Post-game interview with defensive coordinator Ted Roof said he was “sick” over Mauti’s injury. Roof’s eyes grew watery talking about the impact Mauti had on this season –“ I love that kid,” Roof said. “That kid has meant a lot to us, a lot to me personally. I have the utmost respect for him.” Coach Bill O’Brien added- “ I’ve coached a Hall of Fame quarterback and great players. Mauti is one of the most special players I’ve ever been around”
Hull & Hodges step up
Mike Hull did a fine job filling in for Mauti and Hodges was all over the field, with 12 tackles and an amazing interception. Keep in mind Mauti is large reason why this team has been successful and many talented players remained at PSU, including Mike Hull — “He was one of the guys to help me decide to stay,” Hull said. “Just talking with me every day, just giving me confidence and telling me how much I meant to the football program and the team.”
Indiana tested the PSU defense, in fact, behind all the PSU stats was Indiana’s QB Cameron Coffman who threw for 454 yards. In the end though, PSU got it done offensively and managed to slow Indiana down went it mattered most (including a goaline stand to end the game). Unfortunately, the emotional leader of the team will be out for his final game next week as a Nittany Lion. This was not the way it was supposed to end for Mauti. He might not go down as the greatest linebacker at PSU, but surely be remembered as a legend and arguably one of greatest players in PSU football history. His time as a PSU linebacker may be done, but his leadership and legacy is far from over…