Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn State Rediscovers Offense, Defeats Minnesota in Overtime

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Penn State Rediscovers Offense, Defeats Minnesota in Overtime

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -The Penn State locker room Saturday at Beaver Stadium after a come-from-behind 29-26 overtime win against Minnesota was like a scene from "Soul Plane."

That's right, the 2004 comedy starring Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg. At least, that's the way coach James Franklin described the atmosphere.

"They are partying," Franklin said. "That's what it looks like in there. They're going crazy."

Or as junior safety Marcus Allen attested: "Most definitely. We turned up. We definitely turned up. The coaches turned up. The managers, the equipment managers, the doctors, everybody turns up after a win like that."

And the Nittany Lions should celebrate. Because a much-improved second half almost wasn't enough to make up for a very poor first two quarters. And until the team's final drive in regulation and stunning overtime, reclaiming the Governor's Victory Bell from the Golden Gophers (3-1) didn't seem so likely.

Coming into this weekend, Penn State (3-2) ranked second-to-last of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams heading into this weekend at 24.4 percent for third-down conversions. Only Marshall was worse at 23.3 percent. In fact, Penn State had converted only two in each of its games since going 5 of 14 in the season opener against Kent State.

The Nittany Lions were on track to continue that streak until the dying seconds of the game. Trailing Minnesota by a field goal with 54 seconds to play and starting on its 25, Penn State's offense made two crucial third-down conversions, a 20-yard pass to junior wide receiver Chris Godwin on third-and-10 to advance to the 45 and a 26-yard run from redshirt sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley on third-and-3 to march to Minnesota's 22. This upped the Nittany Lions' season total to 15 of 59 so far.

Those clutch conversions set up redshirt junior kicker Tyler Davis' tying 40-yard field goal. …

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