Penn State beats Gophers in overtime

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With a 25-yard touchdown carry in overtime, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley led his team to its first Big Ten win, a 29-26 decision against Minnesota on Saturday night.

Penn State's Saquon Barkley (26) is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning touchdown against Minnesota in overtime of an NCAA college football game Saturday in State College, Pa. Penn State won the game 29-26 in overtime.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With a 25-yard touchdown carry in overtime, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley led his team to its first Big Ten win, a 29-26 decision against Minnesota on Saturday night.

Despite missing five defensive starters by the middle of the first quarter (linebackers Jason Cabinda, Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman-White are out, Malik Golden did not see first-half action after getting banged-up last week and Christian Campbell left the game with a leg injury), Penn State's defense limited Minnesota in the first half.

But the Gophers did the same to Penn State.

The teams were a combined 2 for 14 on third down by halftime, with Penn State 0 for 7.

Minnesota scored first off a 37-yard field goal, just the second time the team has been held to a field goal in the red zone in 15 attempts (the Gophers have 13 red zone touchdowns during that time.)


With 12 minutes left in the half, Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley carried a keeper for two yards to Minnesota's one-yard line on third down. Head coach James Franklin elected to kick amid loud booing from the crowd at Beaver Stadium, and Tyler Davis tied the game 3-3 with a 19-yard chip shot.

The first third-down conversion of the game came on a Mitch Leidner nine-yard touchdown pass to Drew Wolitarsky to put Minnesota up 10-3 with 2:06 remaining in the second quarter.

The Gophers hit a 35-yard field goal with a second left in the half to go up 13-3.

Penn State opened the second half with a three-and-out, but converted its first third down of the game on an 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run by receiver Irvin Charles. It was Charles' first career catch.

A 36-yard catch by receiver Chris Godwin set Penn State up in the red zone on the team's next series, but a heavy blitz forced McSorley to rush his third down throw and it fell incomplete. Kicker Tyler Davis set a new school record with his 27-yard field goal, his 16th make in a row on 16 attempts, to tie the game at 13.

Curtis Cothran was ejected late in the third quarter on a targeting call. It was his first appearance in 2016, after the defensive tackle missed the first four games of the season to injury. He will have to miss the first half against Maryland next week.

McSorley hit a wide-open Mike Gesicki in stride for a 53-yard catch that set up a six-yard quarterback keeper-for-touchdown and the go-ahead score.

The Gophers tied it up again at 20 apiece with 13:29 left to play on a 37-yard carry by Shannon Brooks.


In his first major minutes due to defensive injuries, corner Jordan Smith intercepted Leidner in the end zone to give the Nittany Lions the ball. Penn State could not capitalize on its next series despite a 32-yard catch in heavy coverage by Godwin, and had to punt with 5:38 to play.

Minnesota got into field goal range on a penalty, and hit a field goal to go ahead 23-20. But McSorley scrambled for a first down with just seconds left on the following drive, and Davis stayed perfect with a 40-yard field goal to force overtime.

The Gophers were held to an overtime field goal, and Barkley ran in Penn State's first overtime snap to end it.

Penn St. 29, Minnesota 26 OT

Minnesota 3 10 0 10 3—26

Penn St. 0 3 17 3 6—29

First Quarter

MIN—FG Carpenter 37, :55


Second Quarter

PSU—FG T.Davis 19, 12:00

MIN—Wolitarsky 9 pass from Mi.Leidner (Carpenter kick), 2:06

MIN—FG Carpenter 35, :01

Third Quarter

PSU—Charles 80 pass from McSorley (T.Davis kick), 9:54

PSU—FG T.Davis 27, 7:28

PSU—McSorley 6 run (T.Davis kick), 2:27


Fourth Quarter

MIN—Brooks 37 run (Carpenter kick), 13:29

MIN—FG Carpenter 37, :55

PSU—FG T.Davis 40, :02

First Overtime

MIN—FG Carpenter 45, :00

PSU—Barkley 25 run, :00



First downs 31 19

Rushes-yards 48-228 28-136

Passing 241 335

Comp-Att-Int 24-40-1 19-42-0

Return Yards 70 28

Punts-Avg. 6-32.83 6-33.66

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 8-83 5-65


Time of Possession 36:49 23:11


RUSHING— Minnesota, R.Smith 23-104, Brooks 14-100, McCrary 4-18, Mi.Leidner 7-6. Penn St., McSorley 8-73, Barkley 20-63.

PASSING— Minnesota, Mi.Leidner 24-39-1-241, (Team) 0-1-0-0. Penn St., McSorley 19-41-0-335, (Team) 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING— Minnesota, Bri.Smith 7-101, Wolitarsky 7-69, R.Smith 4-39, Ty.Johnson 2-17, Beebe 2-10, Brooks 1-3, Wozniak 1-2. Penn St., Gesicki 5-70, Godwin 4-97, Thompkins 4-72, Hamilton 3-17, Charles 1-80, Robinson 1-2, Barkley 1-(minus 3).


What To Read Next
Get Local