Penn State Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 10 Game vs. Purdue
One week after falling to undefeated Ohio State in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions took down Purdue in impressive fashion on the road.
Clearly, the Penn State offense had a big day, tallying 506 total yards and not surrendering a turnover. The defense also played big, allowing just two scores (one of them in garbage time) despite recovering just one fumble.
On the flip side, the Boilermakers did little to stand out.
So, who came out as the winners and losers of Saturday's Big Ten matchup? Take a look.
Penn State Winners
Zack Zwinak and Michael Zordich did the job on Saturday, plain and simple.
Zwinak gobbled up the yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry for 134 on the day, while Zordich punched it in on two occasions.
The duo also combined for three catches and 35 yards receiving. In total, they accounted for 202 of the Nittany Lions 506 yards.
I almost don't want to put him on this because it's become so bland and predicable that it's boring.
But it's boring in a good way.
McGloin completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 321 yards and two scores: a 12-yarder to Jesse James and a 41-yard beauty to Brandon Moseby-Felder—both in the third quarter to blow the game wide open.
Just for comparison's sake, this was the signal-caller's fourth straight game with two TDs and at least 280 yards passing. Rock solid.
Speaking of Moseby-Felder, the junior wideout had a career game.
He snagged six passes—a season high—for 129 yards and a score, averaging 21.5 yards per reception. His yardage total increased his season total by 55 percent. He came into the game with 233 yards and no scores.
While he'll likely not sustain that the rest of the season, it was a big game for him nonetheless.
Edison was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster game by Purdue, who's on the outside looking in for a bowl game right now.
The senior snagged a season-high nine balls for 93 yards and the lone Boilermaker score of the afternoon. Granted, it was a garbage-time score from two yards out, but it's still better than anything his teammates did.
Purdue's defense couldn't do much to stop the Nittany Lions all game, surrendering 34 points. But they did do one thing well: They stopped drives.
The Boilermakers held Penn State to just four third-down conversions on 13 attempts. They also kept McGloin and company from converting on all three of their fourth-down attempts—something that's been hard to do all season.
Penn State Losers
So, if Purdue's defense is to take credit for shortening drives, then Penn State deserves some of the blame for not converting more of their attempts.
While they did have 25 first downs on the day, the Nittany Lions have been far better in the past converting third and fourth downs. They average 42.5 percent on third down and lead the Big Ten with 16 fourth-down conversions on 30 attempts.
No other team is within five successful fourth-down conversions.
Shavers did average 8.1 yards per carry on seven attempts, slicing through the Penn State defense when he got the opportunity. But he made possibly the one mistake that kept Purdue from staying in this game: He fumbled.
The Boilermakers had a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter and were driving again when Shavers let go of the football, giving the Nittany Lions a chance to turn the momentum in their favor.
And they did. Sam Ficken knocked in a 27-yard field goal, and it was the last time Penn State didn't lead the game.
If Shavers hadn't lost the ball, who knows what would've happened.
While Caleb TerBush and Robert Marve combined for a respectable 293 yards, a score and no picks, that was about as good as it got for the quarterback tandem.
TerBush averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, but only completed 10-of-20.
Marve completed more of his passes, going 22-of-39, but only racked up 138 yards through the air—3.5 per attempt. Neither of those performances was bad, but neither of them helped the team stay in the game.