The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

November 11, 2012

Penn State loses fumble, then game

LINCOLN, Neb. — Penn State saw a touchdown.

Officials saw a fumble.

Tight end Matt Lehman lost the ball as he was about to score the go-ahead touchdown against No. 18 Nebraska on Saturday, and the Cornhuskers ended up winning 32-23 after coming back from a double-digit, second-half deficit for the fourth time this season.

Penn State (6-4, 4-2) had its three-game Big Ten road win streak end.

“Losing is a terrible feeling. It’s miserable. Absolutely miserable,” Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien said. “It’s like a part of you dies, to be honest with you.”

Taylor Martinez’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner gave Nebraska its first lead, at 27-23, with 10:57 left.

Penn State looked ready to regain the lead, but then Lehman’s fumble happened. After he caught a short pass from Matt McGloin on second-and-goal from the 3, Lehman was popped by linebacker David Santos and dropped the ball. Daimion Stafford, whose interception set up Nebraska’s tying TD, pounced on it.

Lehman was ruled to have fumbled into the end zone before the ball crossed the goal line. The call was confirmed on video review.

O’Brien said he thought the ball broke the plane.

“They just didn’t feel like they could reverse it,” he said. “He tried to reach it out. You can’t do that. He was just reaching it out. Good kid trying to make a play.”

After the game, referee John O’Neill said in a statement, “The ruling on the field was a fumble short of the goal line. It went to replay and the replay official said the play stood based on the views he had. It’s ultimately his decision.”

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said it helped that the call on the field went his team’s way.

“You got to have indisputable evidence to overrule it,” he said. “Something that bang-bang, usually it ends up going however they rule it on the field. We were kind of fortunate.”

McGloin said: “We’re not going to get that call here. We’re not going to get that call ever actually, against any team. It doesn’t matter who the refs are... It’s us against the world and we’re not going to get those calls in these types of games.”

Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah ran for 116 yards on a career-high 31 carries, and Martinez finished with 104 yards as the Huskers pounded away on the ground on a windy afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Zach Zwinak led the Lions with 141 yards on 21 carries. McGloin was 18 of 37 passing for 240 yards, with one interception. Allen Robinson caught six passes for 97 yards for Penn State.

The Huskers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten), down 14 points at half, got TD runs of 1 and 2 yards from Imani Cross to tie it at 20.

Martinez, just 6 of 14 for 56 yards in the first half, completed all six of his second-half passes and finished with 171 yards through the air.

Penn State took its last lead, at 23-20, midway through the third quarter.

The Lions forced a three-and-out after Lehman’s fumble but had to start their next series after Brett Maher matched his career high with a 69-yard punt.

McGloin was called for intentional grounding after getting chased to the back of the end zone by Cameron Meredith and Eric Martin. The play resulted in a safety, and Nebraska led 29-23.

Penn State got another chance but turned over the ball on downs when Justin Blatchford broke up a McGloin pass at the Lions’ 25.

Maher added a 33-yard field goal, his third of the game.

Nebraska previously overcame double-digit, second-half deficits to Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan State. 

 

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos