5 storylines: Indiana vs. Penn State


Every week, NittanyNation takes a look at five storylines that stand out: What should fans keep an eye on? What's the bigger picture? What might be on display Saturday?

Here are NittanyNation's Week 12 storylines:

1. Allen Robinson will make Penn State history. The sophomore wideout needs just one catch to break Penn State's single-season mark for receptions. He's currently tied with former PSU greats Bobby Engram and O.J. McDuffie with 63 catches. Robinson hasn't gone one game with a reception, so he figures to break this mark early. He was a third-string wideout last season, and few expected him to be the No. 1 wideout this year -- let alone breaking records like this. He'll be in the spotlight Saturday.

2. Fast-paced offenses. Penn State's players said they haven't played a team with a faster tempo than Indiana, and Matt McGloin plays his best football in the NASCAR. This could be a quick game that sees a lot of points, and the Hoosiers are hoping they won't be embarrassed again. Both defenses will have to be prepared, and defensive fatigue could set in at some point.

3. Just how many yards will Zach Zwinak run for? Statistically, Indiana has the third-worst run defense in the country -- and Zwinak might just be having a better season than Silas Redd. That's not the kind of tidbit the Hoosiers want to hear. Zwinak seems to be getting better every week, and this might just be his biggest game of the season. Montee Ball rushed for 198 yards against the Hoosiers last week, and Wisconsin finished overall with 564 rushing yards. Zwinak is no Ball, but he'll definitely pose a lot of problems to Indiana's defense.

4. PSU injuries piling up. Tight end Kyle Carter is out for the season, defensive tackle Jordan Hill is still nursing a left knee injury, and safety Malcolm Willis missed Wednesday's practice with a knee injury. Penn State's secondary is shallow enough as it is, so Willis' injury could hurt most. The defensive backs have been a liability to this team all season, so Willis' potential absence could be strongly felt.

5. Have Alex Butterworth and Sam Ficken turned a corner? It sure looks like it. They both started out slow, resting near the bottom of the country in terms of field-goal accuracy and punting distance, but they've really turned it on lately. Ficken has made his last six field goals, while Butterworth has averaged more than 41 net yards in two of his last three games. Bill O'Brien might test his specialists a little more Saturday, and their performances could go a long way in showing whether that improvement's been a mirage or is here to stay.