Instant Reaction: Iowa vs. Penn State
IOWA CITY — Iowa’s offense finally found the end zone after seven quarters without a touchdown.
But it wasn't enough.
And now the Hawkeyes are on a two-game losing streak.
Saturday’s 17-12 loss to Penn State at Kinnick Stadium was another example of the Hawkeyes’ current offensive futility.
Iowa got just two field goals from Keith Duncan — Duncan missed a third — and a late 33-yard touchdown pass from Nate Stanley to Brandon Smith.
Stanley was battered again, sacked twice and hurried often. Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had his problems, too, but made the plays when he needed to, keeping the Nittany Lions going on drives the Hawkeyes seemed to have stopped.
It was the sixth consecutive loss by the Hawkeyes to the Nittany Lions.
The talk earlier in the week by the Hawkeyes was that they had learned their lessons from last week’s 10-3 loss at Michigan. They didn’t.
Penn State was able to constantly slip through the interior of the Hawkeyes’ offensive line — a Tyler Goodson fumble was the result of two Nittany Lions’ defenders blasting between the gaps surrounding center Tyler Linderbaum.
Iowa’s defense did all it could to keep Penn State contained — on one drive, the Nittany Lions had second-and-goal inches from the goal line and ended up only getting a field goal.
Penn State (6-0 overall, 3-0 Big Ten) should rise in the polls. This wasn't a work of art. This one was about surviving.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-2) appear ready to fall out of the national rankings with this defeat. They’ll need to run the table through the West Division to have a chance at any sort of title.
Right now, they just might want to get to the end zone.