The Hawkeyes can’t say they own Penn State anymore after their 13-3 loss on Saturday. It wasn’t a game between two good teams but one where a winner was able to emerge, the Nittany Lions.
With their running game, two quarterbacks and a tough defense, Penn State was able to beat Iowa.
Iowa’s offense never really got into a rhythm and in the fourth quarter, the team’s three turnovers killed them for any chance of a comeback.
Entering the final quarter down 6-3, Hawkeye fans were waiting for another fourth-quarter miracle. It didn’t happen as Penn State’s running game wore down Iowa’s defense. After Iowa’s quarterback James Vandenberg fumbled the ball from a sack, Penn State intercepted; it set up the winning touchdown for the team.
Penn State’s Kevin Haplea’s two-yard touchdown catch was the nail in the coffin with 8:08 remaining and Penn State held on for the win.
In the final minutes, Vandenberg went into panic mode, throwing two interceptions. Penn State didn’t give up, sacking Vandenberg in three straight plays during the game’s final three minutes.
It was a train wreck.
Iowa’s sole score of the game came at the 10:51 mark in the second quarter with a 23-yard field goal by Mike Meyer.
Vandenberg had a rough day, going 17 of 34, 169 yards and two interceptions. It was his worst game to date as Iowa’s quarterback. At times, he looked like Ricky Stanzi with the incomplete passes, bad decisions and interceptions.
And that’s not a compliment.
Running back Marcus Coker gave it his all against Penn State’s defense. He had 18 carries for 74 yards.
Iowa’s second leading rusher for the day was Vandenberg with 12 carries for 10 yards.
In response to the loss, Vandenberg said:
“The credit goes to them. We couldn’t get into a flow because of them,” quarterback James Vandenberg said. “They gave us different looks, dropped pressure from different places and we didn’t really get the run game established as much as we wanted to.”
So much for Iowa’s triple-threat receiving corp. that had played in the last few games. They were well rested on Saturday.
Marvin McNutt went four for 73 yards, followed by Keenan Davis with three receptions for 26 yards. Kevonte Martin-Manley was three for 21 yards.
Penn State’s quarterback duo continues to get wins for the team although Matt McCloin clearly emerged as the stronger quarterback. He used a running game on Saturday going 12 for 19 with one touchdown and one interception. His counterpart, Rob Bolden was weak, going 3 for 7 for 31 yards.
Silas Redd proved unstoppable for Iowa’s defense going 28 for 142 yards.
Next up for Iowa? Their nemesis, the Northwestern Wildcats. Iowa has a lot of work to do to play competitively against a good Northwestern team.
While Iowa walked into Happy Valley as the favorite, the Wildcats will travel to Kinnick Stadium as the favorite. They have defeated Iowa in the last five of six games, with three consecutive wins.
And oh yeah, they have a great quarterback, Dan Persa who tweak’s Iowa’s defense with his throwing and mobility.
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Written by Debbie Baratz