Penn State Grinds Past Iowa, 13-3
Penn State put together another impressive defensive performance, and scored just enough to beat Iowa 13-3. The Nittany Lions ran for 234 yards in the victory and held Iowa to just 253 yards of offense.
Penn State was looking for its first victory over Iowa since 2007, a 27-7 win. Iowa had beaten Penn State in eight of the last nine meetings, winning 24-3 in Iowa City a year ago.
Fortune was smiling on the Nittany Lions on their first drive of the game. Rob Bolden threw two near-interceptions, and he benefited from a crazy deflection. His pass hit the referee, the ball bounced off an Iowa player, and Andrew Szerba made the catch. Later in the drive, on a 4th-and-4, kicker Evan Lewis came in and converted a fake field goal. Iowa was able to keep Penn State out of the end zone, however, and Anthony Fera kicked a 20-yard field goal to put Penn State up, 3-0. The drive lasted 18 plays for 88 yards, taking 8:22 off the clock.
Iowa responded with a field goal in the second quarter. A 20-yard pass to Marvin McNutt and a 16-yard run by Marcus Coker led to a 27-yard field goal for Mike Meyer. The 12-play, 72-yard drive tied the game at three points apiece.
Matt McGloin took over for the Nittany Lions in the second quarter, marshaling the team to another 20-yard field goal. On a drive highlighted by a Derek Moye catch in triple coverage, Penn State was once again unable to reach the end zone. Fera made his second kick of the game to give Penn State a three point lead at the half.
Neither team had much success in the third quarter, although Penn State came closest to scoring. A well engineered drive that included big passes from McGloin to Moye and Justin Brown was negated by an interception in the end zone. The Penn State quarterback carousel continued, with McGloin and Bolden taking turns heading the offense.
In the fourth quarter, Penn State’s defense came up huge once again. With Iowa driving into Penn State territory, the Nittany Lions sacked quarterback James Vandenberg, forcing a fumble. On the ensuing drive, the Nittany Lions ran the ball 10 times and converted two third down conversions before passing for a touchdown. McGloin connected on a 2-yard pass to Kevin Haplea to put Penn State up, 13-3, with 8:08 remaining in the game.
Penn State dashed any hopes Iowa may have had of staging a comeback when Malcolm Willis picked off Vandenberg with 6:53 left in the game. Another interception by Nick Sukay late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory.
McGloin finished the game on 13 of 19 passing for 133 yards. Bolden managed just 31 yards on 3 of 7 passing. Silas Redd headed a strong Nittany Lion running game with 142 yards on 28 carries. Curtis Dukes had a career-high 60 yards on nine carries.