'I Knew It Was Six:' Indiana Players React to Michael Penix Jr.'s Game-Winning Two-Point Conversion

For Indiana football, there was never a doubt that Michael Penix Jr. got in the end zone to win the game Saturday.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The wait for Indiana didn't cause any worry.

When the officials went to review Michael Penix Jr.'s two-point conversion in overtime, the Hoosiers knew they won the game.

Jamar Johnson, who had a big game with an interception and forced fumble, saw Penix hit the pylon and knew the Hoosiers got the win.

"I saw the pylon move," Johnson said. "I knew it was six. I didn't have any doubt about it. We stormed the field like we won it, which we did."

Once Penn State scored first in the opening overtime period, Tom Allen knew before the drive started that if Indiana scored a touchdown, he would go for two to try to win the game.

Allen didn't want to keep stretching out the game. He wanted to go for the win. He's been too close too many times over the past few seasons.

"We were close," Allen said. "And I'm sick and tired of being close."

So when Penix found Philyor in the back of the end zone on 3rd and goal to bring the Hoosiers within one, Allen made the call to go for two.

The Hoosiers called a timeout, then Penn State called a timeout, delaying the deciding final play.

Once the ball was snapped, Penix gazed his eyes in the end zone for a few seconds, but then he scrambled left and made a beeline toward the goal line.

Penn State's defenders were closing in on Penix as he neared the pylon, so Penix dove, stretching out his entire 6-foot-3 frame and barely snuck the ball to the pylon.

Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) dives with the ball to score a two point conversion and win the game in overtime during the game at Memorial Stadium.

Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) dives with the ball to score a two point conversion and win the game in overtime during the game at Memorial Stadium.

Penix paced the sidelines during the review with confidence, telling his teammates, "it's a touchdown, it's a touchdown."

"In my mind, I scored," Penix said. "I knew it was touchdown as soon as I did it. When they was reviewing, I kept telling my teammates it was a touchdown."

When asking Penix what we saw on that play, it wasn't a receiver covered, it wasn't a Penn State defender, but it was opportunity.

"Just an opportunity to go out and show the world what the Indiana Hoosiers were all about," Penix said. "You gotta score or else you lose the game, and I couldn't let my team down. So, I went out and gave it my all."

That final two-point conversion perfectly embodies Allen's wishes to stop coming up one play short this season.

Instead of being the team that gives up or can't pull off the big play, Allen gambled and went for the play himself. It paid off, and the Hoosiers got the statement win they've been seeking.

"It's a big win, no question," Allen said. "I expected us to win this game before the game. I believe in this football team."

The plays by Penix at the end of the game was the difference for the Hoosiers. He struggled for a majority of the game, but at the end of the fourth quarter and overtime, Penix came up big.

He had a rushing touchdown with 22 seconds left, and then ran it in for the two-point conversion to tie the game. He followed that up with the passing touchdown to Philyor and the game-winning two-point conversion to seal the deal.

With Penix under center, Allen feels comfortable that the Hoosiers can win tight games.

That was on full display Saturday in Bloomington, and it set the tone for this Indiana football team this season.

"You have to have a great quarterback if you want to beat a top ten team," Allen said. "We have that."

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