Penn State Pulls Away in Second Half for 27-6 Win Against Rutgers
No. 12 Penn State got off to a slow start but gradually pulled away in the second half to defeat Rutgers 27-6 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
Quarterback Drew Allar left the game with an injury after a run early in the third quarter and did not return. Allar went 6-13 for 79 yards and had three runs for 28 yards before exiting. Working in relief, Beau Pribula ran for 71 yards and completed his only pass attempt for 9 yards while leading three scoring drives.
Kaytron Allen had 69 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Nicholas Singleton ran for 61 yards, with 43 coming on Penn State’s final drive.
Penn State finished the day with 322 yards of offense, 234 of them on the ground.
Rutgers drove into Penn State territory three times and the red zone twice, but the Nittany Lion defense kept the Scarlet Knights out of the end zone. Rutgers has not scored a touchdown at Beaver Stadium since 1994.
Penn State improved to 9-2 on the year, while Rutgers fell to 6-5
HOW IT HAPPENED
Rutgers got on the board first with a time-consuming drive after a Penn State three and out. Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt led the Scarlet Knights inside the Penn State 10, completing passes of 13 and 16 yards and running for 34 on six carries, including designed draws that went for 22 and and 11 on third and long. A holding call at the Penn State 7 set Rutgers back and the Scarlet Knights settled for a 35-yard Jai Patel field goal to take a 3-0 lead after a nine-minute drive.
Penn State responded with a long, eight-minute drive of its own. The Nittany Lions converted three third downs, including a 15-yard strike on a slant from Drew Allar to Liam Clifford, while Allar ran for 20 yards and Kaytron Allen for 19. Allen capped the 73-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run as Penn State took a 7-3 lead with 11:36 left in the first half.
The Nittany Lion offense got back on the field quickly. On the second play of Rutgers’ next drive, Dani-Dennis Sutton pounced on a fumbled handoff exchange and Penn State took over at the Scarlet Knights 32. Allar immediately hit Tyler Warren for a 23-yard and a 6-yard Nicholas Singleton run got the Nittany Lions to the Rutgers 3. But things stalled from there with a Singleton carry for a loss of one and an incompletion in the end zone on which receiver Dante Cephas was clearly held but no flag was thrown. A 21-yard field goal by Alex Felkins extended Penn State’s lead to 10-3 with 8:44 remaining in the second quarter.
After a Rutgers three and out, Penn State looked to be on the move again. Allar connected with Omari Evans on a 25-yard gain on third down into Scarlet Knights territory, but on the next play Singleton fumbled and Rutgers recovered at its own 36.
Neither side could do much with their ensuing possessions, and after an exchange of punts, Rutgers took over at its own 41 with under two minutes left in the half. Wimsatt proceeded to carve up the Penn State defense through the air, completing passes of 19, 15 and 19 yards to get the Scarlet Knights to the Nittany Lion 7. Another holding call, however, derailed the visitors’ momentum, and Patel came on for a 28-yard field goals as the half ended to narrow Penn State’s lead to 10-6.
Rutgers outgained Penn State in the half 153 to 136.
Penn State took over after a Rutgers punt to open the second half. Allen and Allar moved the Nittany Lions near midfield with a pair of runs, but after the latter Allar went to the sideline with an injury and remained there for the rest of the game.
Backup QB Beau Pribula immediately ripped off a 39-yard run on a keeper to the Rutgers 13. A 6-yard Allen gain got the Nittany Lions inside the 10, but Penn State couldn’t get it done from there. Pribula was stuffed for no gain on fourth and 1 and Rutgers took over on downs at its own 4.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t move the ball and a short punt gave the Nittany Lions good field position at the Rutgers 41. A pair of Singleton runs for 9 yards were all Penn State could muster and the Nittany Lions took a 48-yard Felkins field goal to open up a 13-6 lead with 5:32 remaining in the third.
Rutgers moved past midfield on its ensuing drive, keyed by an 11-yard Wimsatt completion to Isaiah Washington on third and 10. But with the Scarlet Knights in Penn State territory, Chop Robinson strip-sacked Wimsatt at the 47 and the Nittany Lions recovered.
An 11-yard Pribula carry and a 21-yard Allen run had Penn State deep in Rutgers territory as the third quarter ended. Allen picked it up from there, punching it in from three yards out as Penn State took a 20-6 lead early in the fourth.
Rutgers appeared poised to respond, using a 19-yard Wimsatt pass to Ian Strong and a series of runs and short passes to move to the Penn State 24. The Nittany Lion defense tightened up though, and the wheels came off for the Scarlet Knights. A false start was followed by a sack of Wimsatt by Abdul Carter and Coziah Izzard, a Wimsatt run for no gain and finally a KJ Winston interception to snuff out the drive.
Penn State worked the run game again with Pribula behind center. Singleton ripped off a 20-yard run and Pribula followed with a 15-yard carry. After a short pass for 9 yards to Warren, Pribula’s only throw of the day, Singleton sliced through for a 12-yard run to get Penn State inside the 5. Another short Singleton carry and a 1-yard touchdown run by Pribula put the game out of reach. The Nittany Lions took a 27-6 lead with 3:36 remaining and the Penn State defense kept Rutgers in check to close out the day.
The Nittany Lions will finish the regular season with a Black Friday meeting against Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on NBC.