We're Bowl Eligible, Folks!
With a 62-24 win over Purdue, Number 24 Penn State is bowl eligible!
Overcoming a halftime tied at 17, the Nittany Lions scored 17 straight to open the third quarter and outscored Purdue 45-7 in the second half on its way to a 66-24 victory on Saturday afternoon inside Ross-Ade Stadium.
The 62 points that they scored are the most against a Big Ten opponent since 2005 when Penn State claimed a 63-10 victory at Illinois.
Saquon Barkley racked up career highs with 207 rushing yards and 277 all-purpose yards. His 277 all-purpose yards are a Penn State sophomore record and his 207 rushing yards make him the first Penn Stater since Larry Johnson to eclipse the 200-yard mark twice in the same season since 2002. The rushing total ranks No. 21 on the single game rushing charts for the Nittany Lions and are the most by a Nittany Lion since Larry Johnson had 289 against Michigan State in 2002.
The backfield carried the load for Penn State, as six Nittany Lions combined for 257 yards on just 38 carries, led by Barkley’s 207 yards on 18 totes (11.5 ypc). Barkley and redshirt-freshman Andre Robinson (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) each scored twice on the ground, with Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.) adding another rushing score in the fourth quarter. Miles Sanders (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added his first career receiving touchdown to give the backfield six total scores on the day.
The defense and special teams forced four turnovers in the game, the most by Penn State since pressuring Maryland into five turnovers in 2015. Brandon Smith (Winfield, Pa.) and Christian Campbell (Phenix City, Ala.) each pulled down their second career interceptions, with Kevin Givens (Altoona, Pa.) and Jordan Smith (Washington D.C.) each posting their first career fumble recoveries. Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J.) led the charge with a game-high nine tackles.
What was the turning point?
Brandon Smith started the second half at middle linebacker and pulled down his second career interception on the third play from scrimmage. Smith returned the interception 22 yards and four plays later, Trace McSorley found Chris Godwin for a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-17 in favor of the Blue and White. The Nittany Lions would go on to outscore Purdue by 38 points, 45-7, in the second half.
Penn State returns to Beaver Stadium for a 7:30 kickoff against Iowa on the Big Ten Network. To purchase tickets or for information on joining the Nittany Lion Club, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.
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