Penn State Extends Win Streak to Five With Big Victory Over Iowa
The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 41-14 in front of over 106,000 fans on Saturday night in Beaver Stadium. Tallying 599 total yards of offense and only giving up 234 yards on defense, Penn State was firing on all cylinders this week. The Nittany Lions did not have a single three-and-out the entire game.
In his post-game press conference, Penn State head coach James Franklin spoke to his offense’s effectiveness.
“I thought the third-down conversions were huge. 50 percent on third down is something we hadn’t really done. We’ve been emphasizing and improved in that area.”
After a week of hype following the Nittany Lions being ranked No. 12 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, Penn State welcomed the Iowa Hawkeyes into Beaver Stadium for their second night game of the year.
The matchup served as Penn State’s Military Appreciation Game. Serving as an honorary captain for the Nittany Lions was sophomore defensive tackle Immanuel Iyke. Iyke served as a corporal in the Marine Corps before coming to Penn State.
Receiving the opening kickoff, Miles Sanders gave Penn State excellent field position by bringing the ball out to the Penn State 48-yard line. From there, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley would move the ball over the ground to the Iowa 19, setting up a 19-yard pass to a wide-open Saeed Blacknall for a touchdown putting the Nittany Lions in front early.
After driving down the field, Iowa was stopped on fourth down at the Penn State 35. Taking over there, McSorley led Penn State to the Iowa 15-yard line. However, the field goal was blocked.
The teams would trade punts before Barkley could make his mark on the game with a 57-yard touchdown run on third-and-short. The Nittany Lions continued with the offensive onslaught following a 44-yard reception by Mike Gesicki, setting up a McSorley keeper from one yard out. With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Penn State held a 21-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes finally answered on the next possession when Akrum Wadley scored on a 12-yard reception. This culminated a seven play, 75-yard drive. A Penn State field goal would close out the half at 24-7.
The Iowa defense finally stiffened up only allowing a Penn State field goal in the third quarter. However, with the Nittany Lion defense standing strong, a comeback just was not in the cards.
Troy Apke recorded the first turnover in the game early in the fourth quarter when he intercepted a C.J. Beathard pass at the Iowa 44. McSorley and Barkley connected on the next play for 44 yards and a touchdown coming off a wheel route, extending Penn State’s lead to 27 points.
With Barkley’s day finished, Sanders would get the bulk of the remaining carries for Penn State. Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens got his name on the scoresheet, recording a rushing touchdown on a jet sweep after lining up as a wide receiver.
Iowa would drive down the field one last time and score on a 36-yard pass to Jerminic Smith to close the game’s scoring. Penn State’s victory over Iowa improved the Lions record to 7-2 on the year.
But it was not perfect for Penn State, as the team committed nine penalties for 86 yards, something Franklin was not pleased with.
“We got to clean up the penalties. We didn’t do a good job with that, we’ll work on it this week.”
Penn State is next in action when they travel to take on Indiana on Saturday, November 12.
Zach Green is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.