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Indiana Football vs. Penn State: The History

Indiana's history against Penn State has not been pretty. We all know that. The question is whether Indiana can right that wrong this coming Saturday as the Penn State Nittany Lions come to town.


Now that we're back into conference season, we're going to start getting back into delving into the history between Indiana and the team they're about to play. That means we're going to take a quick look at the history between Indiana and Penn State. And as I'm certain most of you know, despite there being a lot of history between Indiana and Penn State, there isn't much in the way of history (confusing, I know).

So I'm sure most of you know, and if you didn't a Penn State fan will remind you, that Indiana has never actually defeated Penn State in a game of American football. The Hoosiers and Nittany Lions have met a total of 16 times and every single time Indiana has walked away with a loss. Of all the years that this has been going on, this year is the most likely for the Hoosiers to break through.

Indiana started playing Penn State in 1993 where Indiana walked away with hat in hand and a 31-38 loss on their belts. Truly it was a moral victory for the Hoosiers. Penn State was coming off a week where they had just lost their #1 ranking in the polls. Penn State fell from 1 to 3 and were looking to get that top team moniker back. According to this strange website discussing the urban legends of the early 90s, Penn State fans are still fuming that they didn't get a share of the national title. They blame this game, where they should have blown out Indiana as reason #1 for that result. So I guess that's a victory in some sense.

The second meeting between Penn State and Indiana was also a one possession game where IU came out just six points shy a year later. But that was the last time that Indiana would be competitive in the 90s. They faced three consecutive blowouts in '95, '96 and '99 before losing by a mere field goal in 2000. Then another string of three blowouts in 01, 02 and 03 before 2004 was a 4 point game. See a pattern starting to emerge?

In the sixteen games that Indiana has lost to Penn State in their history the pattern of competitive, blowout, blowout, blowout is pretty prominent. It has happened three times in a 16 game set. So I guess what we're looking at is a tale of two games. Close loss or blowout have been Indiana's only options. Last year, was year one of an alleged new string of blowouts after the Hoosiers played Penn State to a 10-16 loss in 2011.

Needless to say Indiana will be looking to throw a wrench in the pattern and come out firing against Penn State this weekend. We'll get a little more in depth on Thursday about what specifically to look for, but history hasn't been kind to Indiana in this series. If they can get the offense back up and going and repeat the defensive resistance shown against Missouri then there's a chance that we'll have ourselves quite a ball game at what I expect to be a pretty full Memorial Stadium.