Indiana football cannot handle Penn State firepower in Week 9

Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9). Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9). Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Indiana football fans remember Michael Penix Jr. diving for an extra-point in a shocking victory over then-ranked #8 Penn State for the Hoosiers in 2020 like it was yesterday. Bringing Hoosier Nation back to earth for a minute, Indiana was shutout by the Nittany Lions in 2021, 24-0, and has now lost seven of its last eight matchups against Penn State.

Previewing Indiana football going against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Week 9:

Opponent: Penn State Nittany Lions
Date/Time: Saturday, November 5th at TBD
Location: Memorial Stadium – Bloomington, Indiana
All-time Head-to-Head Record: 2-23-0 (.080)

Offensive Key Player(s)

Sean Clifford – #14 – QB

Clifford is now on his fourth straight season as the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback and captain of the team for his fifth-year senior year at University Park. Clifford has passed for 1,800+ yards, 16+ touchdowns in three straight seasons and holds a career completion percentage of 60.4 percent.

In three games against Indiana football, Clifford has passed for 595 yards and seven touchdowns and has dominated the Hoosiers’ defense along the way. Clifford was named to the Manning Award Watch List for 2022, which names the preseason top 30 quarterbacks for the upcoming season. Clifford is the obvious player to watch on the offensive side of the ball for Penn State, and Indiana football fans should be worried about the Hoosiers against a healthy Sean Clifford.

Parker Washington – #3 – WR

Washington returns for his third season after a 2021 campaign where he ranked second on the team in receiving yards (820), behind only Jahan Dotson, who is now competing for a starting spot on the Washington Commanders after being drafted 16th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. The sophomore showed his talent against Ohio State last season where he brought in nine receptions for 108 yards on the road and recorded four receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown against the Hoosiers in his career.

Defensive Key Player(s)

Adisa Isaac – #20 – DE

Isaac sat out the entire 2021 season due to injury, but look for this redshirt junior to put pressure on quarterbacks in 2022 and become the lead pass-rusher for the Nittany Lions. Victory Bell Rings‘ writer, Nick Kreiser, names Isaac as one of the two key players to the Penn State defense for the 2022 season. Isaac is projected to be a starter for 2022 and should help out in more than just the pass rushing department and will be making plays against Indiana football in Week 9.

Overall Outlook

In my opinion, and Kirk Herbstreit’s, Penn State is going to surprise a lot of people this season and Indiana football will struggle against the high powered offense that is the Nittany Lions. Penn State will likely be ranked in the Top 25 by the time they roll into Bloomington in Week 9, and it seems like they will leave Indiana with a win, even if the Hoosiers’ defense can limit Clifford and Washington in the passing game.

Next. No hiccups against Scarlet Knights in Week 8. dark