]BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana's tag-team quarterbacks proved they could be effective and efficient Saturday.
The Hoosiers defense figured out how it could stop the run.
And Indiana finally found a way to beat Penn State.
Nate Sudfeld threw two touchdown passes, Tre Roberson ran for two more scores and the Hoosiers ended a 16-game losing streak in this series by beating the Nittany Lions 44-24, their first win ever against Penn State.
"It's a big win," Roberson said. "This IU 2013 team is in the history books."
All week the Hoosiers (3-2, 1-0) downplayed the significance of The Streak, which dated to Penn State's entry into the Big Ten in 1993.
Instead, players and coaches focused on the present-day stakes: Winning a Big Ten opener for the first time since 2000, closing the longest opening home stand (five games) in school history with a winning record and hoisting the victory flag on the nation's tallest flagpole before hitting the road for their first two road games. In about 3½ hours, they did all that and rekindled their bowl hopes, too.
Fans celebrated with a loud roar as the clock ran out and an even louder roar when the final score was announced on the public-address system, though Indiana's players took a more traditional tack.
They walked across the field to shake hands with Penn State (3-2, 0-1), then returned to the student section to pump their helmets as they sung the school fight song before jogging back to the locker room.
"We weren't really trying to put history into this game, we were just trying to go out and win a football game," Sudfeld said. "We had a good mindset coming in and a good game plan, and guys executed pretty well."
This was not just another win, though.
Eight times since 2002, the Hoosiers have won fewer than two games in conference play. Now they have seven chances to distance themselves from that mark, and the team that showed up Saturday looked like a drastically different one from before the bye week.
Even the much-maligned Hoosiers defense did its part.
After allowing 32.8 points and ranking 115th out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision teams against the run (247.8 yards) through five games, the Hoosiers held Penn State to its second-lowest point total of the season and just 70 yards rushing on 38 carries.
Sudfeld played the entire first half, helping the Hoosiers build a 13-7 halftime lead, and then drove Indiana to the go-ahead score midway through the third quarter before occasionally turning things over to Roberson.
The junior wasted no time becoming a factor. He got into the end zone the first three times he touched the ball —on a 2-point conversion run that made 21-14, on a 2-yard TD run that finally gave the crowd hope the Hoosiers might finally win and on a resounding 9-yard TD run that all but sealed the game with 10½ minutes to go.
It was a dismal day on Memorial Stadium's soggy turf for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions botched a snap on a field-goal attempt, had another attempt blocked, nearly sent another snap over the punter's head, lost one fumble on a kickoff and another in their own end zone that turned into a late safety.
Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg wound up 30 of 55 for 340 yards passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions, breaking Kerry Collins' single-game record for attempts, but was under duress much of the fourth quarter and couldn't convert on three fourth-down tries. Allen Robinson caught 12 passes, the second-most in school history, for 173 yards and two scores as he moved from 12th to seventh on the school's career receptions list and into a fifth-place tie on the school's career TD receptions list.
"We lost to a team that played very well today," said coach Bill O'Brien, whose decision to go on fourth-and-2 from his own 33 gave Indiana a chance to break away. "We didn't coach well. Our kids, because of that, didn't play very well."
Tevin Coleman rushed 20 times for 92 yards, including the 44-yard TD run that gave Indiana the lead for good midway through the third quarter. Cody Latimer caught nine passes for 140 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game.
To Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, though, only one thing mattered.
"We have got to win games like this and we are a good enough team to do that," Wilson said. "We don't get wrapped up in it (the streak). I think our guys are best if we just keep things simple and work day-by-day, going over things we need to do short term and not look at the big picture. That being said, we have to win games like this."