By Harry Allison

It wasn’t pretty, but Penn State overcame the loss of KJ Hamler, its most explosive player, to mount a 9-minute, game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Indiana 34-27.

Quarterbacks Sean Clifford and Will Levis shared the key plays on Penn State’s most physical drive of the season that included two 4th-and-1 conversions, the last for a touchdown.

The Lions ran 16 times on their 18-play series, which Clifford capped with a 1-yard scoring run. The offensive line, which had allowed three sacks, was bruising, with center Michal Menet bulldozing a path for backup quarterback Levis on his 4th-and-1 conversion.

Indiana had rallied for 10 unanswered points to make it a 3-point game. Penn State’s defense has allowed 24+ points in back-to-back games for the first time this season, a glaring statistic with a visit to Ohio State looming.

And for the second straight week, a target-throwing quarterback exploited the Lions’ secondary, which has allowed more than 700 yards passing in two weeks..

Peyton Ramsey gave Indiana an early 14-10 lead, then nearly led the team to a comeback victory and made things tight at the end Ramsey completed a 46-yard pass on fourth down in the last 30 seconds to give Indiana one last chance. Ramsey finished with 371 yards passing, the second-highest total of the season against Penn State.

Each team lost its top receiver to injury in the first half. Penn State’s Hamler did not play after landing on his head during a first-quarter kickoff return. Hamler had caught a 41-yard pass earlier in the quarter.

In the second quarter, Indiana’s Whop Philyor left after being hit in the head and fumbling. It was Philyor’s second turnover of the game.


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