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Indiana Football vs Penn State: Key players, notes and opening spread

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Oct 21, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar (15) throws over Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Cody Simon (30) during the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium. © Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Indiana football travels to Happy Valley this Saturday where they will face the number 10 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

Penn State comes into this game with a record of 6-1 with wins against West Virginia, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern and UMass. The team’s only loss came last week on the road against Ohio State.

Kickoff is set for Noon ET on Saturday and the game will be broadcast on the CBS.

Here is a look at some of the key players, notes and the opening spread.

Key players

QB Drew Allar: The sophomore quarterback is in his first year as the starter after committing to Penn State as the number one QB in the class of 2022. The 6-foot-5 242-pounder has great size for the position and has an elite arm that allows him to make every throw needed even when he is off balanced. Allar does a great job taking care of the football, having thrown zero interceptions in his career at Penn State. Allar has 1,445 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns with a 61.0 percent completion percentage while adding three scores on the ground in 2023.

RB Nicholas Singleton: Like his QB, the sophomore running back was the. number one player at his position in the class of 2022 when he committed to the Nittany Lions. The 6-foot 222-pound back was named Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year after recording 1,146 total yards and averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He broke the record for the most rushing touchdowns by a freshman in program history with 13. He is a balanced running back with good speed and elite strength for the position. In 2023, Singleton’s yards-per-carry has dropped to 4.2 but he has 527 total yards and seven touchdowns in seven games.

RB Kayrton Allen: The IMG Academy product is in his sophomore year with the Nittany Lions after committing as a four-star recruit in the 2022 class. The 5-foot-11 222-pound running back had an extremely productive freshman season where he had 1,055 total yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards-per-carry. Allen has NFL upside and is a balanced back with good pass protection skills along with his strengths as a runner. He is off to a slower start in 2023, he has 445 total yards on 4.6 yards-per-carry with three touchdowns in three games.

WR Keandre Lambert-Smith: The fourth year receiver committed to Penn State as a four-star recruit in the 2020 class and is off to his best start for a season since joining the Nittany Lions. In his first three season, Lambert-Smith had 1,048 receiving yards on 73 catches with seven touchdowns. He is great route-runner, with great body control and has secure hands. The 6-foot-1 185-pound receiver is leading the team in catches and yards with 37 receptions for 454 yards and three touchdowns in seven games.

DE Adisa Isaac: The fifth year senior pass rusher is coming off of a huge year where he earned All-Big Ten third team honors from the coaches after recording 11 tackles-for-loss and four sacks in 13 games. The 6-foot-4 249-pounder committed to Penn State as a four-star recruit in the class of 2018 and he will likely be selected in this years NFL draft. Isaac is off to an even better start in 2023, leading the team in tackles-for-loss with 9.5, and sacks with 5.5, while adding a fumble recovery.

DT Zane Durant: The sophomore defensive tackle originally committed to the Nittany Lions as a three-star recruit choosing them over Indiana in 2022. The 6-foot-1 285-pound interior defender did not see much action as a freshman but has been a wrecking ball inside for the Penn State defense in 2023. Durant is second in tackles-for-loss with 5.5 while adding two sacks. Durant became the school’s first defensive tackle to record at least three tackles for loss in a game since 2017.

LB Dominic Deluca: The redshirt-sophomore linebacker originally committed to Penn State as a safety but moved to linebacker inside. He did not play in his first year but recorded 29 total tackles, two tackles-for-loss and one sack in 2022. The 6-foot-1 218-pounder has been a playmaker for the Nittany Lions defense in 2023, recording 18 total tackles, three tackles-for-loss, one sack, an interception for touchdown, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles in seven games.

CB Daequan HardyThe senior cornerback has been a playmaker on the back end of the Nittany Lions defense. The Pittsburgh native committed to the instate Nittany Lions as a three-star recruit in 2019. Despite being undersized, the 5-foot-9 178-pound corner has been a stable part of the Penn State defense, recording five career interceptions including one for a touchdown, 18 pass deflections and one fumble forced during his time with Penn State.

Other Notable Players: 

Demeioun Robinson, EDGE Jr.

Theo Johnson, TE Jr.

Tyler Warren, TE Jr.

Abdul Carter, LB So.

Kobe King, LB Rs-So.

Key Notes

  • Indiana football is 2-24 against Penn State all time with the first matchup taking place in 1993
  • Indiana football has lost its last two games against the Nittany Lions after beating them in 2020
  • The last meeting took place November 5, 2022 where Penn State beat Indiana 45-14
  • Penn State won the first 16 matchups between the two schools
  • Penn State head coach James Franklin is 8-1 against Indiana
  • Penn State has yet to allow 21 or more points in a game this season
  • Penn State is averaging 48.75 points-per-game at home this season
  • Over the last six games, Penn State is allowing just 2.0 yards per carry
  • Penn State has not given up any points in 11 consecutive quarters at home

Spread

  • Indiana football opened as 30.5-point underdogs and an the O/U opened at 49.5.

SEE ALSO: Quick Hitters: Early breakdown and initial thoughts on Penn State

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

Drew Rosenberg is staff writer for HoosierIllustrated.com and hosts 'The Talkin' Bout the Hoosiers Podcast' covering Indiana University athletics. Drew graduated from Indiana University's Sports Media program in 2024.

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