PENN STATE 23 (2-5, 2-5), RUTGERS 7 (2-5, 2-5)
SHI STADIUM • PISCATAWAY, N.J.
DECEMBER 5, 2020
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers football (2-5, 2-5) was topped by Penn State (2-5, 2-5), 23-7, on Saturday afternoon in Piscataway, presented by Provident Bank. Wide receiver Bo Melton recorded his sixth touchdown reception of the season – a three-yard catch in traffic from quarterback Noah Vedral – in the loss at SHI Stadium.
Linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi led the defense with a career-high 18 tackles, with one for a loss, marking the sixth game the 2020 Butkus Award semifinalist produced 10 or more stops in a game this season. RU forced two turnovers against the Nittany Lions, which included an interception from defensive back Christian Izien and a forced fumble by defensive end Tijaun Mason.
Rutgers kept Penn State out of the end zone on its first possession, as it stuffed the Nittany Lions on a fourth-and-13 attempt inside Scarlet Knights’ territory. The fourth-down stop gave RU the ball with 8:27 to go in the first half. Rutgers picked up a first down on the ensuing possession – courtesy of a 12-yard rush from Vedral – but stopped on its own fourth-down attempt to give the ball back to the visitor.
Penn State would score on the next drive to make it 7-0 with 3:27 left in the first. The Scarlet Knights’ defense held strong for the remainder of the quarter, as a tackle-for-loss from defensive lineman Julius Turner kept PSU off the board heading into quarter two. The Nittany Lions continued their drive into the second quarter and closed it with a 30-yard field goal from Jake Pinegar to extend their lead, 10-0.
After Penn State’s second touchdown, Rutgers recorded its first turnover of the afternoon. On first-and-10 from the PSU 40-yard line, Mason broke through and forced a fumble, which was recovered by defensive back Avery Young with 5:10 left in the half. Both teams would trade punts before entering the locker room with Penn State leading, 17-0.