College Football

Iowa Beats Penn State 23-20 In Showdown

NCAA Football: Penn State at Iowa
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It was a matchup between two of the top five teams in the country. The No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes hosted the No. 4 Penn State Nittany Lions. Iowa won the battle 23-20. Early in the first quarter, Penn State had a 17-3 lead.

Trailing by two touchdowns, Iowa’s quarterback Spencer Petras completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to pull the Hawkeyes within seven. Penn State went into halftime with a 17-10 lead. Both teams kicked field goals in the third quarter, and the Nittany Lions went into the fourth quarter with a 20-13 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Iowa went on to score ten points. First, was a Caleb Shudak‘s 36-yard field goal to cut the Penn State lead to four. On their next possession, Iowa, scored a touchdown on a 44-yard pass play from Petras to Nico Ragani to give the Hawkeyes a 23-20 lead, which sealed the deal.

Sean Clifford Hurt

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford was knocked out of the game with an injury when they were up on Iowa 17-3. He took a big hit from linebacker Jack Campbell. Before leaving the game, Clifford passed for 146 yards on 15 of 25 passing attempts, but did throw two interceptions.

Sophomore Ta’Quan Roberson took over at quarterback and struggled, passing for only 34 yards on 7 of 21, with two interceptions. He also added ten rushed for 27 yards. It was a challenging situation for Roberson.

Turnover Battle

Iowa won the turnover battle 4 to 1. In a close game, turnovers usually make a big difference. This time, they hurt the Nittany Lions big time. Those four interceptions were costly on the road.

Iowa Stayed With the Run

The Hawkeyes ran the ball 45 times, with Tyler Goodson rushing for 88 yards on 25 carries. On those 45 attempts, Iowa rushed for 110 yards, which is only 2.4 yards per carry. Penn State’s run defense was outstanding, but Iowa stuck with it so they could control the lock and keep the Nittany Lions concerned about the run.

Petras passed 31 times and completed 17 of his passes for 195 yards. He threw two touchdown passes as well. This was classic Iowa football; play physical with the run game, pass when needed, and play tough physical defense.

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