No. 22/23 Penn State Handles Tigers, 41-12

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AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 22/23 Penn State football team exploded in the second half to earn a 41-12 win over Auburn on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Nittany Lions scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter and outscored the Tigers, 27-6, in the second half.
Penn State earned the Big Ten’s first sweep of a home-and-home series against an SEC opponent since Northwestern in 2010 and 2012 against Vanderbilt. The Nittany Lions earned the Big Ten’s first road win against an SEC opponent since Purdue’s 35-3 win at Missouri in 2017.
The Nittany Lions’ 29-point win is the second-largest margin of victory for a Big Ten team in a road game against an SEC opponent, behind only Purdue’s win over Missouri.
Penn State’s 29-point margin was the Big Ten’s sixth win over an SEC team by 29 or more points and the third in a regular season game. Penn State also had a 29-point win (43-14) over Auburn in the 1996 Outback Bowl.
A balanced Penn State offense earned 477 total yards, including 245 on the ground and 232 through the air. Freshman Nicholas Singleton went over the 100-yard rushing mark for the second-straight game, tallying 124 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. Singleton had a 54-yard touchdown run and another 53-yard run. Fellow freshman Kaytron Allen added 52 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Sean Clifford completed 14-of-19 passes for 178 yards and had a 7-yard touchdown run to go with a 25-yard reception.
The Penn State defense forced four takeaways, including two fumbles and two interceptions. The Nittany Lions recorded 11 tackles for loss and six sacks. Abdul Carter led Penn State with six tackles, including a sack, and a forced fumble. Ji’Ayir Brown added five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception. Adisa Isaac tallied three tackles for loss and a sack, while Chop Robinson registered a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Zakee Wheatley made his first career interception.
Auburn threw for 296 yards. TJ Finley passed for 152 yards, while Robby Ashford had 144 yards and a touchdown. Jarquez Hunter had a 22-yard touchdown reception. Owen Pappoe led the Tigers with six tackles and a forced fumble.
The 2022 Penn State football season is presented by PSECU.
Auburn got on the board with a 31-yard field goal by Anders Carlson. The drive included a 24-yard pass from Finley to Shedrick Jackson. Auburn led 3-0 with 8:20 to go in the opening quarter.
The Nittany Lions responded with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown rush by Clifford. Allen had a 16-yard carry, while Mitchell Tinsley came up with two key catches on the drive, including a 34-yard reception, to setup the Nittany Lions at the 7-yard line. Penn State led 7-3 with 4:21 remaining in the first quarter.
Wheatley came up with a key interception to end a potential Auburn scoring drive in the first quarter. On 3rd-and-6 at the Penn State 28-yard line, Finley was flushed out of the pocket and fired a throw that was caught by a diving Wheatley.
Auburn cut its deficit to one with a field goal in the second quarter. A 12-play, 67-yard drive ended with a 22-yard kick by Carlson. The drive included a 24-yard pass from Finley to Landen King and an 18-yard run by Finley, both on third downs. The Nittany Lions held a 7-6 advantage with 6:59 left in the second quarter.
The Nittany Lions extended their lead on a 3-yard touchdown rush by Allen in the second quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 25-yard pass from KeAndre Lambert-Smith to Clifford to setup Penn State inside the Auburn 10. After a 4-yard run by Singleton and a 3-yard grab by Lambert-Smith, Allen found a hole up the middle to take it into the end zone. Penn State led 14-6 with 1:46 remaining in the first half.
Another key takeaway led to a Penn State field goal in the third quarter. After a strip-sack by Brown, and a fumble recovery by Robinson, Penn State took over at the Auburn 30-yard line. Three plays later, Jake Pinegar converted a 48-yard kick to extend Penn State’s lead to 24-6 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
Penn State took advantage of an interception by Brown to add another score late in the third quarter. A 27-yard return by Brown, and an Auburn penalty, set up Penn State at the Auburn 48-yard line. Parker Washington hauled in 26- and 17-yard passes from Clifford to setup a 6-yard touchdown run by Allen. The Nittany Lions led 31-6 with 1:07 to go in the third quarter.
Auburn responded with a 22-yard touchdown reception by Hunter, from Ashford, to finish a 6-play, 65-yard drive. Ashford added a 28-yard run on the drive. Auburn’s two-point conversion attempt was no good. Penn State held a 31-12 lead with 14:27 remaining.
Penn State answered with a 54-yard touchdown run by Singleton. On the fourth play of the drive, Singleton took a handoff up the middle and bumped to the sideline, taking it to the end zone. The Nittany Lions led 38-12 with 12:03 to go.
The Nittany Lions tallied the final score of the day, a 22-yard field goal by Pinegar to give Penn State a 41-12 lead with 5:21 remaining. The drive included a 30-yard run by Devyn Ford, a 16-yard pass from Drew Allar to Brenton Strange and a 13-yard connection between Allar and Parker Washington.

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