Taste of first loss against Indiana lingers for Nittany Lions

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cornerback Jordan Lucas said after Saturday's game that he would probably start thinking more about the loss on the plane ride back to State College. He would consider some plays he wanted back. He would think of ways to get better.

Mainly, he would start thinking about something else, what's next rather than what happened. The Nittany Lions all know what happened. Penn State lost to Indiana on Saturday for the first time in the 20-year history of the schools' matchups.

"You just got to have thick skin," Lucas said. "Don't let it get to you."

Last year, Penn State began the year with two bad losses, one to Ohio of the Mid-American Conference and one to a struggling Virginia team. Where does this Indiana loss rank?

"I don't think you could talk about this being the low point right now," offensive guard John Urschel said. "It's a loss. Indiana beat us. On Monday we're going to go back to the film and learn from it. You can't look at games like that."

Coach Bill O'Brien brought up the terms he is prone to use nearly every week. He talked about the character of his players and their resiliency. He talked about the situation that they are in, with about 61 scholarship players and 40 walk-ons. To him, getting through those obstacles is a daily challenge and losses like Saturday are another aspect to learn from.

"What I'm saying is this is just a football team that's working extremely hard with some really fantastic kids on it," he said. "It is what it is. I think these guys are working extremely hard to play as hard as they can."

No doubt, though, Saturday's return plane ride was a long one. Lucas said he would be watching film as early as Saturday night, dissecting his performance while shifting his thoughts away from the bad loss to the future.

"I think of every Saturday as another opportunity," he said.

Robinson leaves early

Wide receiver Allen Robinson slammed hard against the turf in the second half Saturday, disrupting what was another banner performance (12 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns). Robinson wasn't made available to the media after the game, and a Penn State spokesperson said he was receiving treatment.

O'Brien said he didn't know the extent of Robinson's injury other than that he "slammed" his back. Robinson returned to the game on the next series after his fall but didn't return after that.

psusports

Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05


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