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Penn State Scores 45 in Second Half to Blow Past Purdue 62-24

by on October 29, 2016 4:10 PM

Penn State shook off some first half cobwebs and put the Boilermakers far in the rearview mirror on Saturday afternoon as the Nittany Lions became bowl eligible and made it four straight victories with a 62-24 thrashing of Purdue.

The Nittany Lions struck first on Saturday looking to dispel the notion that an upset of No. 2 ranked Ohio State was still on their minds, going 85-yards in 8-plays including a key third down conversion to Mike Gesicki. Saquon Barkley scored his first of two touchdowns on the day from three yards out to put Penn State up 7-0.

A surprisingly competent but often turnover prone Purdue offense took the field next and responded in kind with short passes and effective play calling that quickly put the Boilermakers in Nittany Lion territory. A one yard run by Markell Jones following several Penn State penalties in the red zone finished the long drive with a score, tying the game.

From there both teams struggled offensively with Trace McSorley missing on a few deep balls while Penn State's defense gave Purdue's offense just enough trouble to slow down an otherwise effective short passing attack. Cameron Posey made it 14-7 for the hosts following a 55-yard drive.

It didn't take long for Penn State and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead to respond though as Chris Godwin jogged into the endzone untouched on a 38-yard pass from McSorley to tie the game just 1:59 later.

Both teams traded field goals to end the half.

In the final 30 minutes of play it was the turnovers that have plagued Purdue all season that gave Penn State new life. Linebacker Brandon Smith intercepting the ball early in the second half to give Penn State possession deep in the Boilermaker end of the field and Godwin's second touchdown of the day made it 24-17 just 24 yards later.

A muffed punt gave Penn State the ball deep in Purdue territory again and Andre Robinson found the endzone just a few plays later to make it 31-17 midway through the third quarter.

It was more of the same the rest of the way, Penn State scoring on seven of its eight second half possession with six touchdowns and a lone 29-yard field goal by Tyler Davis. A De Yancey 62-yard reception made it a 34-24 game but the Boilermakers would get no closer.

Miles Sanders scored untouched from 21-yards out catching a dump-off pass from McSorley while Mark Allen's run from inside the one added his name to the list of four running backs to score on Saturday. Andre Robinson also added a 21-yard score to his resume to round out the group's afternoon.

No player was as dominant on Saturday though as Saquon Barkley whose 207 yards rushing and 70 yards receiving were capitalized by an 81-yard run down the right sideline as Barkley bounced out around defenders and ran the majority of the field untouched.

McSorley finished the afternoon with 12-of-23 mark for 228 yards while Chris Godwin made five receptions for 58-yards and two scores. Barkley's 207 yards on the ground came on just 18 carries against one of the worst rush defenses in the nation.

Defensively it was Jason Cabinda leading the way with nine tackles, Christian Campbell and Brandon Smith both picking up interceptions while Jordan Smith and Kevin Givens both recovered fumbles.

Penn State officially improves to 6-2 on the year while the Nittany Lions end the month of October undefeated on a streak of four straight wins. Penn State heads home to face Iowa before traveling on the road to Indiana and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions finish off the season against Michigan State at Beaver Stadium before finding out their postseason fate. 

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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