2011 Penn State Football

 
Big Ten football fans

Penn State vs Iowa Hawkeyes Football Recap

Penn State 13, Iowa 3

 

No, this wasn’t the 6-4 game Iowa and Penn State played in Happy Valley in 2004.

It was close, though.

No offense was expected from these two middle-tier Big Ten teams, and no offense emerged… not beyond a few small scraps, at any rate. Was this conference clash hard to watch? Absolutely. Did it set football back a ways? Undeniably. Did it live down to its pregame billing? Positively.

Yet, you won’t hear the Penn State community complain. A program that has been bedeviled and bewildered by the Iowa Hawkeyes over the years gained some sweet revenge, cleansing a bad taste from the palate and gaining fresh hope in time for the second half of the 2011 season.

Penn State merchandise You might recall that in 2008, when Penn State’s last great team took the field, Iowa somehow found a way to knock off an undefeated bunch of Nittany Lions, knocking PSU out of the national championship race. That game defined the hex Iowa has applied to Penn State over the years, so anytime the Blue and White can get back at Iowa, they crave the experience. Look beyond the lack of style points and the paucity of playmaking on the offensive side of the ball. The smiles in Happy Valley are considerable this week.

The Penn State Nittany Lions won a defensive struggle on Saturday at Beaver Stadium, outfoxing Iowa to improve to 5-1. Silas Redd ran for a career-high 142 yards for Penn State. Matt McGloin completed 12 of 19 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Penn State was able to grind out the victory on the ground in the fourth quarter, scoring the game's only touchdown, a two-yard pass from McGloin to tight end Kevin Haplea, after a drive on which the Nittany Lions ran the ball on 10 consecutive plays. Penn State led 6-3 early in the fourth quarter when linebacker Gerald Hodges forced a fumble that was recovered by Nate Stupar to set up the Lions' touchdown drive. The Lions' defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers.

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Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg struggled, completing 17 of 34 passes for 169 yards and two interceptions. Iowa running back Marcus Coker ran 17 times for 82 yards, and should have gotten more touches. Marvin McNutt caught four passes for 73 yards.

Both offenses struggled, to put it mildly. The Penn State defense held Iowa to 253 total yards, while the Lions' offense failed to finish drives, particularly in the first half, instead settling for two short Anthony Fera field goals. Penn State sacked Vandenberg five times, and Iowa's only points came on a 23-yard Mike Meyer field goal early in the second quarter.

Rob Bolden was the Lions' starting quarterback, but McGloin ran Penn State's offense for eight of its ten possessions. Bolden led Penn State on its first scoring drive. Backup running back Curtis Dukes carried nine times for 60 yards for Penn State.

 

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Staff Writer

 

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