PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Sean Clifford threw a 29-yard touchdown and Penn State’s defense set up three scores with stops or takeaways on Saturday as the Nittany Lions played their best game of the season with a 23-7 victory over Rutgers.
Penn State (2-5, 2-5 Big Ten) dominated both sides of the ball, outgained Rutgers 381-204 and held the Scarlet Knights to a season-low for points, more than three touchdowns below their average. The win was the second straight for the Nittany Lions and their 14th in a row over the Scarlet Knights (2-5, 2-5).
Clifford opened the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown pass to true freshman Parker Washington with 3:32 left in the first quarter. It came after the Nittany Lions stuffed Johnny Langan on a fourth-and-1 from the Rutgers 45 on the Scarlet Knights’ opening possession.
After a 30-yard field goal by Jake Pinegar extended the lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter, Penn State stopped Rutgers on another fourth-and-1 from its 45, this time on an incomplete pass by Langan. Devyn Ford capped the short drive with a 7-yard touchdown run for a 17-0 lead.
Jordan Stout added a 47-yard field goal early in the third quarter after Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral fumbled on the second play of the half.
Vedral threw a 3-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass to Bo Melton with 4:56 left in the third quarter. An interception by safety Christian Izien at the Nittany Lions 36 set up the score.
Pinegar added a 27-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions finally looked like the team that was ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll. The ineptitude of the opening five games seemingly has been laid to rest.
Rutgers: By far the Scarlet Knights worst performance of the season. The gap with Penn State is as big as ever.
Penn State: Plays host to Michigan State
Rutgers: At Maryland
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