UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Following the win on the road at Indiana, Penn State football head coach
James Franklin addressed the team in the locker room with one message - that
the Nittany Lions had once again found a way to win.
"We're a young team who's growing every single week and we find ways to win. All different ways. You look at our entire season - each win has been different, but we found a way to do it."
Looking at Penn State's six-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions have battled back from double figures not once, not twice, but three times after the Indiana comeback. The Nittany Lions engineered a 10-point comeback with an overtime victory against Minnesota before rallying from behind by 14 points in the thrilling victory against then-No. 2 Ohio State.
Sparked by wide receiver Chris Godwin's 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trace McSorley at the end of the third quarter, the Nittany Lions outscored the Hoosiers 31-7 in a span of 16:09 on the way to a third double figure comeback this season. No other Penn State squad has battled back three times from a double-digit deficit in a single season since at least 1970.
The will to win and the desire to persevere are all things McSorley said are simply engrained in the mindset of the team this year, as he also gave credit to the leaders on the team for their ability to set the tone for belief under pressure.
"Just that mentality that this team has, that never say die, never quit attitude that's the biggest thing," McSorley said. "Yeah we were down 10, we've been down by double-digits multiple times late in games, but there's never that feeling like we can't come back from this."
On a six-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions have tallied the most consecutive Big Ten victories in the same season since 1994.
Check out a few more takeaways from the 45-31 win on the road at Indiana.
McSorley's Resilient Performance
Quarterback Trace McSorley turned in a gutsy performance Saturday completing 16-of-30 attempts for 332 passing yards, marking his third 300-yard passing performance, which ranks fourth in program history.
McSorley opened the game with a 10-yard rushing touchdown to give the Nittany Lions their third consecutive score on the opening drive.
McSorley dazzled in the second half with a few long yardage plays through the air in the clutch, including a 43-yard pass to Saeed Blacknall to set up the 21-yard touchdown grab from Godwin in the third quarter.
McSorley has scored a rushing touchdown and a has thrown for a score in six games this season. Only Louisville quarterback and Heisman contender Lamar Jackson has accomplished the feat more frequently this season (8 times).
"I wanted him to take a knee a couple of times so we could make a substitution and he kind of waved me off," Franklin said. "He hobbled down the field. He is tough, he is smart, he is resilient, he's a playmaker."
McSorley was at it again in the fourth quarter, targeting wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton on a perfect executed flea-flicker to set the Nittany Lions up for a 4-yard touchdown run from Saquon Barkley to bring Penn State ahead, 28-24.
Taking Advantage of Turnovers
Penn State took advantage of five Indiana turnovers, marking the most opponent miscues since last year's Maryland game.
The Nittany Lions recovered all five Indiana fumbles, converting two into touchdowns. Adding to the comeback, defensive end Torrence Brown picked up his third career fumble in the fourth quarter, returning it nine yards for his first career touchdown.