No. 10 Penn State rides wild crowd to close win over No. 22 Auburn

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Jaquan Brisker broke up a desperation pass toward the end zone by Auburn's Bo Nix as time expired and No. 10 Penn State held on to beat No. 22 Auburn 28-20 on Saturday night.

Sean Clifford completed 28 of 32 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns as Penn State (3-0) welcomed back its white out crowd to Beaver Stadium for a rare visit from a Southeastern Conference teams.

Jahan Dotson added 10 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, tight end Brenton Strange caught a touchdown and tight end Tyler Warren and Noah Cain ran for scores to help the Nittany Lions beat an SEC opponent for the first time since.

Penn State had to make two late defensive stand to make the lead hold. First, they kept Auburn (2-1) out of the end zone after a first-and-goal at the 10. An incomplete fade from the 2 on fourth down with 3:08 left gave Penn State the ball back, but the Nittany Lions could not run out the whole clock.

Auburn managed to get to the Penn State 23 with 3 seconds left. Nix fired deep down the middle but Brisker cut in front Demetris Robertson a few steps in front of the goal line and knocked it down.

Tank Bigsby scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and Anders Carlson added two field goals for the Tigers, who lost their 10th straight road game to a top-10 team since 2014.

Penn State had no white out last year because the pandemic meant no fans. The Nittany Lions broke it out early this season for Auburn’s first trip to a Big Ten stadium since 1931 against Wisconsin.

A sea of white with specks of Auburn orange was hyped throughout, pom poms waving and singing along to “Sweet Caroline” to start the fourth quarter.

Despite the raucous atmosphere with more than 109,000 fans, the Tigers never looked rattled and the first game regular-season game on campus between Big Ten and SEC since 2011 must have had a lot of fans asking for more just like it.

Bisgby ran for 102 hard yards and Nix was 21 for 37 for 185 yards and no turnovers in the first real test under first-year coach Bryan Harsin, hired away from Boise State in the offseason.

Maybe one time, Auburn looked out of whack.

The Tigers’ opted for a wideout option pass to open the third quarter.

Kobe Hudson, looking to throw, was hit by multiple defenders and fumbled to Penn State’s Derrick Tangelo. The Nittany Lions needed just four plays to take a 21-10 lead. Warren scored from two yards out on a direct snap.

The Tigers mounted their longest drive of the night after that, a 15-play, 75-yard trek that ended when Bigsby beat the defense around the right edge for a 6-yard score.

After his defense made a fourth-down stop at midfield, Carlson cut Penn State’s lead to 21-20 with a 43-yard field goal with 14:55 left when Harsin passed on going on fourth-and-1.

But Penn State took over from there.

Cain made it 28-20 when he took a delayed handoff up the middle for 3 yards midway through the fourth.


Auburn: The Tigers fell to 1-5 against Top 25 teams since last year because they lacked some plays in the passing game when they most needed them.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions showed some creativity on offense with wnd-arounds to Dotson, an option pass that worked and direct snaps to a hulking tight end.


Auburn: Hosts Georgia State.

Penn State: Hosts Villanova.


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No. 10 Penn State rides wild crowd to close win over No. 22 Auburn
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