Redshirt freshman quarterback Brendan Sorsby stood at Indiana’s 20-yard line with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter, calling redshirt senior Zach Carpenter to snap the ball. While the Hoosiers’ defense just allowed a 57-yard touchdown to give Penn State the lead, Sorsby was looking to lead Indiana on a game-tying touchdown drive.
Sorsby received the snap from Carpenter, scanning the field for an open receiver when Penn State defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton forced the ball free out of Sorsby’s hands.
Multiple Hoosiers and Nittany Lions fought to recover the fumble, but the ball made its way out of the back of the endzone for a safety. Indiana’s second turnover of the contest ended the Hoosiers’ bid at an upset victory over No. 10 Penn State.
“We got to play better,” Indiana head coach Tom Allen said postgame. “We gotta execute at a high level. We don’t have a lot of margin for error against a team like (Penn State) for sure, but I was proud of our guys.”
Sorsby’s fumble at the end of the game marked his second turnover of the game after tossing an interception late in the second quarter, setting Penn State up at Indiana’s 43-yard line.
While he may have had a couple of turnovers, Indiana’s offensive performance looked night and day different compared to the one that took the field at Memorial Stadium in a 31-14 loss to Rutgers on Oct. 21.
Sorsby went 13-of-19 for 269 yards with three touchdowns alongside the pair of turnovers. Allen explained Monday that. after assessing the film from last week, the coaching staff felt comfortable moving forward with Sorsby as the starting quarterback. Although the Hoosiers were unable to pull off the upset, the offense showed signs of promise under the redshirt freshman signal caller.
Indiana jumped out to an early 14-7 lead behind a 90-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to fifth-year senior DeQuece Carter and a 69-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to junior wide receiver Donaven McCulley. While the explosive plays have been few and far between this season, the offense showed they can convert them, even against No. 10 Penn State.
“I felt really comfortable out there this week,” Sorsby said postgame. “Felt like coach (Rod) Carey called a great game. Felt like the O-line and receivers did a great job of helping me out; running backs running the ball really well. It’s easy to look good whenever everybody else around you is playing really well.”
Indiana must now win the rest of its four games to become bowl eligible.The team will now set its sights toward a matchup Nov. 4 against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. The Hoosiers last took on the Badgers on Dec. 5, 2020, defeating them 14-6 at Camp Randall Stadium.
While the Hoosiers lost their fourth game in a row, Sorsby and the offense seemingly aren’t concerned with past results and are setting their sights on the next play.