Indiana pulls out one of the worst fake punts of the year vs. Penn State

Tom Allen and Indiana dialed up one of the worst fake punts of the season. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Thanks to Indiana, Arkansas now has some competition for the worst fake punt of the season. 

Back on Oct. 19, Arkansas had a fake punt play that failed spectacularly against Auburn. On Saturday against No. 9 Penn State, Indiana’s was nearly as bad. 

Trailing 20-14 in the third quarter, Indiana was faced with a fourth-and-1 from its own 44-yard line. The Hoosiers initially kept the offense on the field, but then called timeout and brought out the punt unit. That’s when things went sideways. 

Instead of snapping it deep, the ball went to tight end Peyton Hendershot, who seemed like he wasn’t quite expecting the snap. In an instant, Hendershot was surrounded by Penn State defenders for a four-yard loss and a turnover on downs. 

Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen was not at all happy about it, and Hendershot seemed like he was surprised the ball was snapped to him. Maybe IU’s call was to only fake it if Penn State presented a certain look and the long snapper — perhaps hoping to pay homage to a past fake punt from the state of Indiana — did not get the memo. 

Nonetheless, the gaffe gave Penn State excellent field position. Two plays later, Journey Brown reeled off a 35-yard touchdown run to extend Penn State’s lead to 27-14. 

The botched fake proved costly, too. Indiana would cut Penn State’s lead to 27-24 early in the fourth, but PSU eventually sealed the game with an 18-play scoring drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock.

And if you’re curious about the aforementioned Arkansas fake punt, here it is:

Yeah, I think Arkansas still gets the edge with this one.

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