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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

IU derailed by miscues in 41-24 Penn State loss

football halftime

LANDOVER, Md. -- Six straight losses in conference play had left IU scrambling to find something new to strike their losing ways.

What better, then, for IU to take their game to a place they've never played before?

The move -- IU's first neutral site, regular season game in 10 years -- brought the matchup to FedExField in the suburbs of Washington D.C. 

The result was just more of the same for the beleaguered squad.

IU (4-7, 0-7) continued a history of losing to Penn State (7-4, 4-3) Saturday, downed 41-24. The Nittany Lions finished the game on a 17-0 run to easily top the hapless Hoosiers just outside the nation's capital.

"We just didn't get enough stops on third down during the game," IU coach Bill Lynch said. "A lot of that is Penn State. They're obviously a good football team that's really improved over the last few weeks. It's a tough loss for us."

Doubly frustrating for Lynch and his players was that the loss officially ended any hopes the Hoosiers had of playing in a postseason bowl. IU now has played in just a single bowl game (2007's Insight Bowl) during Lynch's current four years at IU's helm.

"I'm really disappointed for those guys in that locker room," Lynch said of missing out again on a bowl trip.

Clinging close to Penn State at halftime trail just 17-14, IU's defense produced a turnover-on-downs during the Nittany Lions' first drive of the third quarter.

IU, utilizing a combination at quarterback of senior Ben Chappell and redshirt freshman Edward Wright-Baker much of the game, drove the ball 30 yards on five plays to set up a 49-yard field goal try.

Redshirt freshman kicker Mitch Ewald connected on a wobbly, low kick for a new career-long, tying the score at 17-17.

Penn State found the end zone on their next drive when quarterback Matt McGloin completed a 21-yard pass on 2nd-and-17 to wide out Derek Moye.

Trailing again -- IU never once led -- Chappell completed three passes and junior wide out Tandon Doss rushed for a 39-yard gain as part of a seven-play, 70-yard drive. Chappell tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Doss to tie the game at 24.

It would be IU's last score, as the next two offensive drives ended on disaster.

First, a bit of an errant snap to IU punter Chris Hagerup disrupted the junior's kick sequence enough to let PSU's Andrew Dailey fully block the punt. PSU's James Van Fleet scooped up the fumbled and returned it 21 yards for another touchdown.

Three plays later, IU turned the ball over again when a Chappell pass was tipped into the arms of PSU's Drew Astorino.

Penn State, with a 31-24 lead and the ball to start the fourth quarter, never let up. IU unable to answer, the Nittany Lions added another touchdown and a field goal in the fourth to seal their perfect 14-0 record all-time over IU.

A home game for IU originally slated to be played at Memorial Stadium, IU athletics director Fred Glass opted to move the game to the home of the NFL's Washington Redskins for financial reasons. The Redskins offered $3 million to IU for the game -- money that Glass said last week was being used to fund IU's new student-athlete Academic Resource Center.

The expense of the move was a crowd heavily partial to the "visiting" Nittany Lions. With the exception to lone swath of cream and crimson fans backing one-half of IU's sideline in FedExField's lower bowl, the vast majority of the 78,790 in attendance looked to support Penn State.

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