Penn State at Iowa score, highlights: Nittany Lions escape with last-second win
On a Saturday filled with thrills and insanity, Penn State might have taken the cake.
The Nittany Lions picked up a walk-off win against Iowa on Saturday night, beating the Hawkeyes 21-19 to improve to 4-0 on the season. Trace McSorley evaded pressure and threw a picture-perfect pass to Juwan Johnson for the game-winning touchdown as time expired. The touchdown culminated a 12-play, 65-yard drive that took the final 1:42 off the clock and erased a 19-15 Iowa lead.
The drive came after a fourth quarter comeback by the Hawkeyes, who scored on two Akrum Wadley touchdown runs to overcome a 15-7 Nittany Lions lead.
It was one of the most exciting games of the college football season to this point, and here’s what you need to know about it.
1. The win ends Penn State’s losing streak to Iowa when it’s ranked. The last three times Penn State played Iowa with one of those special numbers in front of its name, it lost.
In 2008, Penn State came to Iowa City ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 and was upset by the Hawkeyes 24-23. The two teams met again in 2009 with Penn State ranked No. 5, and once again Iowa pulled off the upset, winning 21-10. In 2010, Penn State would lose once again in Iowa City as the No. 23 team in the country.
On Saturday night, its going home with a win and will likely remain in the top five when both polls are released on Sunday.
2. Saquon Barkley is not of this world. Honestly, I’m not even sure what to make of Barkley anymore. He does so many amazing things during a game that you almost become numb to him.
He’ll make a jump cut like this…
…and you’ll just think “OK, yeah, I’ve seen that one before. You clearly exist in another dimension not accessible to other humans. Good for you.” Then he’ll follow that move up by hurdling a defender, being hit in mid-air, and still land on his feet and keep going.
You see that, and you’re like “seriously, we get it, you aren’t human. Please stop making us feel bad about ourselves, Saquon, it’s not nice.”
Those were just two memorable moments from the best running back in the country on Saturday night. He finished the game with 211 yards rushing, 94 yards (on 12 receptions) receiving, and, just for fun, another 53 yards on kick returns.
There’s so much hype about quarterbacks this year, but Barkley is the best offensive player in college football right now and should be a Heisman Trophy contender. This is not an opinion. It is a fact.
3. This loss is a huge missed opportunity for Iowa. While the game was amazing, and Iowa was one play away from the upset win, it’s hard to understand how the Hawkeyes were even in such a position if you look at the box score.
The Hawkeyes had 273 yards of total offense. Penn State had 579.
Iowa was only 3 for 11 on third downs, and couldn’t maintain drives. Penn State had the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
Iowa only had 11 first downs. Penn State had 29.
So what in the world happened? Well, a couple of Penn State turnovers certainly helped, as did eight Penn State penalties.
And Iowa had the lead with four seconds left in the game, needing to make one more play to knock off yet another ranked team at Kinnick Stadium. But they didn’t get that play, and now they must play out a conference schedule that includes road trips to Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Throw in a home game against Ohio State to boot, and this was a win that could have been huge in Iowa’s quest to win the Big Ten West.