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No. 22 Penn State runs roughshod over Auburn

Sportsnaut
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) runs the ball as Auburn Tigers take on Penn State Nittany Lions at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Credit: Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

Nicholas Singleton ran for 124 yards and scored two of No. 22 Penn State’s five rushing touchdowns as the Nittany Lions capitalized on four Auburn turnovers to beat the host Tigers 41-12 on Saturday afternoon.

Penn State (3-0) defeated Auburn (2-1) for the second consecutive season and leads the all-time series 3-1. The Tigers had their 17-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents snapped, while the Nittany Lions won their 15th straight regular season game against a non-conference opponent.

Singleton’s 54-yard touchdown run down the sideline in the fourth quarter put the finishing touches on a dominant effort by the Nittany Lions, who had six rushers combine for 245 yards.

Penn State’s defense did the rest as it kept Auburn’s offense in check throughout a close first half. Penn State recorded five sacks and Ji’Ayir Brown and Zakee Wheatley each had an interception.

Penn State only outgained Auburn 477-415 in total yards. But the turnovers proved costly, especially a pair in the third quarter which the Nittany Lions converted into 10 points to help break the game open.

Brown sacked Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Demeioun Robinson at the Tigers’ 30, which led to a field goal. Finley completed 11 of 19 passes for 152 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

Finley, who appeared to be dealing with a shoulder issue, exited the game at that point. Backup Robby Ashford, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 144 yards, one touchdown and one interception, drove the Tigers as far as Penn State’s 8-yard line before he was dropped for a 4-yard loss. Ashford was then sacked by Abdul Carter for a loss of 11 and on the ensuring play, he was intercepted by Brown, who returned it to the Auburn 48.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford led an eight-play drive capped by Allen’s 6-yard touchdown run as the Nittany Lions took a commanding 31-6 lead with 1:07 left in the third.

Clifford completed 14 of 19 passes for 178 yards and moved into second place in passing yards in school history with 8,512. He trails only Trace McSorley (9,899).

–Field Level Media