Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Iowa completely throws away game against Penn State in ugly fashion

Herky the Hawk performs during game Iowa completely throws away game against Penn State in ugly fashion
Kristopher Love | 01 November, 2018, 13:44

Penn State's special teams unit looked unprepared for the weather early in the game.

Twitter was blowing up Saturday evening as the Iowa football team blew an important game against a tough Penn State Nittany Lion program.

Penn State (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) needed one last defensive stand to hold off Iowa (6-2, 3-2), which got to the Nittany Lions 44 with less than a minute left. "As he was being brought down for a potential game-ending sack, Stanley tossed the ball to 6'5", 320-pound offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs, who seized the opportunity and ran for 15 yards before getting tackled 29 yards short of the goal line.

It was a fitting end to an odd game with little sustained offense. The only other touchdown for Iowa came on a fake field goal play in the first quarter.

On the final question of last Tuesday's press conference in Beaver Stadium featuring Franklin, Amani Oruwariye and McSorley, I asked the quarterback about his ability to avoid injury.

McSorley was sandwiched by two Hawkeyes as he tried to scramble and stayed down, grabbing his right leg.

The Beaver Stadium crowd fell silent as athletic trainers attended to the senior. McSorley got up with assistance and limped off.

McSorley has 35 starts of the Nittany Lions, with four regular season games (at MI on Saturday, followed by Wisconsin, Rutgers and Maryland) and a bowl game remaining.

Best run: On third-and-2 at the PSU 49, Trace McSorley raced 51 yards, cutting up the left sideline for a touchdown that gave the Lions a 24-17 lead with 12:10 remaining in the third quarter.

As a starter since the season-opener in 2016, McSorley has led Penn State to records of 11-3, 11-2 and 6-2. Stanley had the world wondering why he wasn't benched - myself included - with a horrific day, then almost stole the game with a brilliant fourth-quarter drive.

Iowa's biggest threats offensively were passes to tight ends sophomore T.J. Hockenson and junior Noah Fant as well as a consistent run game through sophomore running back Mekhi Sargent and sophomore Toren Young. Then he made an ill-advised throw and safety Nick Scott took advantage by coming up with the interception. Freshman wide receiver KJ Hamler had another strong game, leading the Nittany Lions with 96 receiving yards as well as two kick returns averaging 41 yards. By hanging on, they dodged their first three-game home skid since 2015.