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Lions Rally Past Gophers in OT

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Saquon Barkley broke through the Minnesota defense on Penn State's first offensive snap in overtime, allowing the Nittany Lions to reclaim the Governor's Victory Bell with a 29-26 win over the Golden Gophers in Big Ten football action Saturday in Beaver Stadium.

Penn State (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) was also led by sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley, who accounted for 408 yards of total offense - 335 passing and 74 rushing - to mark the third-highest total in school history.

Minnesota (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) led 13-3 at halftime, but the Nittany Lions rallied with 17 points on three consecutive possessions in the third quarter. Minnesota fought back as running back Shannon Brooks broke free for 37 yards to tie the game with 13:29 to go, and Emmit Carpenter scored the go-ahead points with a 37-yard field goal with 54 seconds remaining in regulation.

Penn State started at its own 25 after a touchback, and got rolling on third-and-10 on a 20-yard pass to Chris Godwin. A 7-yard reception by DeAndre Thompkins to the Minnesota 48 and a spike by McSorley stopped the clock with 20 seconds and setup third-and-3. The Nittany Lions looked to throw on the ensuing play, but the Gophers left the left side of the field open and McSorley scrambled for 26 yards out-of-bounds to the Minnesota 22 with 11 seconds remaining.

McSorley took one shot at the end zone, but his pass for Godwin fell incomplete. After a Minnesota timeout. Davis drilled a 40-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to force overtime.

Penn State won the coin toss and elected to play on defense first. Nittany Lion defensive end Evan Schwann sacked quarterback Mitch Leidner on second down for a 4-yard loss, and pressure from Garrett Sickels forced an incompletion and fourth down. Carpenter drilled a 46-yard field goal attempt down the middle to give Minnesota a 23-20 lead.

The lead was short-lived though, as Barkley found a hole, juked a Minnesota defender and outran the rest for a touchdown on Penn State's first snap.

Penn State totaled 471 yards of total offense, it's most since racking up an identical total against Rutgers in 2015.

Turning Point
Minnesota seemed to have all of the momentum heading into halftime after scoring 10 points in the final 2:06 of the second quarter. Both teams traded punts to start the third quarter, and then Penn State scored on its next three consecutive possessions. Wide receiver Irvin Charles broke a tackle for an 80-yard touchdown reception to cut the deficit to three, Tyler Davis connected on a 27-yard field goal to tie it, and then quarterback Trace McSorley used his feet on a 6-yard touchdown for Penn State's first lead, 20-13, with 2:27 to go in the third quarter.

Difference Makers

Penn State

  • QB Trace McSorley - McSorley connected on 19-of-41 pass attempts for a career-high 335 yards. He also had a team-high and career-high 73 on the ground on eight attempts.
  • RB Saquon Barkley - Barkley rushed for 63 yards on 20 attempts. Minnesota contained him for much of the second half, but Barkley's 25-yard touchdown run was his longest of the game and clinched the victory.
  • TE Mike Gesicki - Gesicki finished with five catches for 73 yards, including a career-long 53-yard reception that setup McSorley's third quarter touchdown run.
  • WR Chris Godwin - Godwin caught four passes for 97 yards, with his biggest being a 36-yard reception to setup a third quarter field goal and a 20-yard reception Penn State's game-tying drive in the final minute of the fourth.
  • S Marcus Allen - Allen made a career-high 22 stops in the game, the most by a Penn State player since Paul Posluszny made 22 stops at Northwestern in 2005.
  • CB Jordan Smith - Smith earned his first career interception in the third quarter, picking off Leidner in the end zone. It was the first time this season Minnesota had broken into the red zone and failed to score.
  • K Tyler Davis - Converted all three field goal attempts, matching his season high of 40 yards to force overtime. He has now made 17 consecutive field goals for a Penn State record.


  • QB Mitch Leidner - Leidner completed 24-of-40 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown.
  • WR Brian Smith - Smith caught seven passes for 101 yards.
  • WR Drew Wolitarsky - Wolitarsky caught seven passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.
  • RBs Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith - Brooks and Smith both broke 100 yards rushing each. Smith rushed for 104 yards on 23 carries, and Smith rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries and found the end zone once.

Scoring Drives
1st Qtr
MINN - 0:55 - FG - Emmit Carpenter 37 yd kick, 10 plays, 53 yards, 4:08 - 0-3

2nd Qtr
PSU - 12:00 - FG - Tyler Davis 19 yd kick, 7 plays, 73 yards, 3:49 - 3-3
MINN - 2:06 - TD - Drew Wolitarsky 9 yd Pass from Mitch Leidner. 9 plays, 63 yards, 4:41 - 3-10
MINN - 0:01 - FG - Emmit Carpenter 35 yd Kick, 9 plays, 70 yards, 1:12 - 3-13

3rd Qtr
PSU - 9:54 - TD - Irvin Charles 80 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 3 plays, 80 yards, 0:52 -10-13
PSU - 7:28 - FG - Tyler Davis 27 yd Kick, 5 plays, 33 yards, 0:57 - 13-13
PSU - 2:27 - TD - Trace McSorley 6 yd Run, 6 plays, 85 yards, 2:06 - 20-13

4th Qtr
MINN - 13:29 - TD - Shannon Brooks 37 yd Rush, 8 plays, 87 yards, 3:58 - 20-20
MINN - 0:54 - FG - Emmit Carpenter 37 yd Kick, 11 plays, 58 yards, 4:40 - 23-20
PSU - 0:02 - FG - Tyler Davis 40 yd Kick, 8 plays, 53 yards, 0:52 - 23-23

MINN - FG - Emmit Carpenter 46 yd Kick, 5 plays - 23-26
PSU - TD - Saquon Barkley 25 yd Run, 1 play - 29-26

Key Drives

First Quarter
MINNESOTA 5:02-0:55 (4:08, 10 plays, 53 yards) - FIELD GOAL
After stopping Penn State on fourth down at the Minnesota 28-yard line, the Golden Gophers marched 53 yards on 10 plays to setup a 37-yard field goal for Emmit Carpenter. Quarterback Mitch Leidner connected with Brian Smith for 25 yards on the drive's first play to move Minnesota into Penn State territory. Shannon Brooks rushed for 15 yards to the Penn State 21 and Leidner connected with Smith again for 13 yards to the 8, but a holding penalty on the next play stalled the drive.
Minnesota 3, Penn State 0

Second Quarter
PENN STATE 0:49 (1st Qtr)-12:00 (2nd Qtr) (3:49, 7 plays, 73 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley stepped up in the pocket and found DeAndre Thompkins for 53 yards to the Minnesota 21 on the first play of the scoring drive. Barkley added 13 yards and McSorley reached the 1 on third down to setup a 19-yard chip shot for Tyler Davis.
Minnesota 3, Penn State 3

MINNESOTA 6:47-2:06 (4:41, 9 plays, 63 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
After trading field goals, both teams traded punts before Minnesota became the first team to find the end zone. Minnesota started at its own 37 and moved near midfield on a 14-yard run by Kobe McCrary. Brooks kept the drive alive converting a fourth-and-1 with a 2-yard rush to the Penn State 29, and a pass interference penalty moved the Gophers into the red zone. On third-and-5 from the 9, Leidner connected with Drew Wolitarsky at the goal line for the touchdown.
Minnesota 10, Penn State 3

MINNESOTA 1:13-0:01 (1:12, 9 plays, 70 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Penn State was only able to run 1:13 off the clock after the Gopher touchdown, and Minnesota was able to drive 70 yards on nine plays and convert a 35-yard field goal. Wolitarsky caught a 19-yard pass to move Minnesota from midfield to the edge of field goal range at the Penn State 32, and Rodney Smith rushed for 11 and 4 yards on consecutive plays to setup Carpenter's kick attempt from the Penn State 17.
Minnesota 13, Penn State 3

Third Quarter
PENN STATE 10:46-9:54 (0:52, 3 plays, 80 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Minnesota looked to force a three-and-out on third-and-10, but McSorley found Irvin Charles over the middle, and Charles broke free from the safety covering him to complete an 80-yard touchdown pass .
Minnesota 13, Penn State 10

PENN STATE 8:25-7:28 (0:57, 5 plays, 33 yards) - FIELD GOAL
A kick catching interference penalty on a Minnesota punt gave Penn State the ball at the Minnesota 42. McSorley and Godwin connected for 36 yards on the first play, and Davis drilled a 27-yard field goal to tie the game.
Minnesota 13, Penn State 13

PENN STATE 4:33-2:27 (2:06, 6 plays, 85 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Trace McSorley used his arm and legs to give Penn State its first lead. A 53-yard pass to Mike Gesicki moved Penn State to the Minnesota 6, and on second-and-goal, McSorley kept it himself on a read-option play, running around the left end for the score.
Penn State 20, Minnesota 13

Fourth Quarter
MINNESOTA 2:27 (3rd Qtr)-13:29 (4th Qtr) (3:58, 8 plays, 87 yards) - TOUCHDOWN

Shannon Brooks broke off a 37-yard touchdown run to tie the game. Brian Smith caught a 20-yard pass and Rodney Smith rushed for 14 yards to key the drive.
Penn State 20, Minnesota 20

MINNESOTA 11:36-7:45 (3:51, 9 plays, 57 yards) - INTERCEPTION
The Golden Gophers appeared poised for another scoring drive, moving from their own 31 to the Penn State 12, but on third-and-9, Leidner was intercepted in the end zone by Jordan Smith.

The Rest
Minnesota took the lead with an 11-play, 58-yard field goal drive with 54 seconds remaining, but Penn State drove 53 yards on eight-plays to force overtime. The Golden Gophers opened the frame with a field goal, but Barkley answered with a 25-yard touchdown run.

Up Next 
Penn State hosts Maryland for homecoming in a noon game on BTN.

Single game tickets for the 2016 campaign are on sale now. To purchase tickets or for more information, fans can visit, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.

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