Nittany Lions Fall To Iowa in Big Ten Opener

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Fans weather the storm on Saturday.

Fans weather the storm on Saturday.

Sept. 26, 2009

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; September 26, 2009 - Penn State's great start was nullified by four turnovers, a blocked punt and a safety, as Iowa rallied for a 21-10 win Saturday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

The loss dropped No. 5 Penn State to 3-1 overall, while the Hawkeyes improved to 4-0. The Nittany Lions saw their 11-game home winning streak come to an end. Penn State has won 30 of its last 33 games in Beaver Stadium.

The series between Penn State and Iowa is tied, 11-11, with the visiting team having won 14 times in the 22 games.

Penn State scored on its first play from scrimmage to electrify the Whitehouse throng of 109,316. The Nittany Lions then used a 20-play, 10:17 drive to take a 10-0 first quarter lead. But, the Hawkeyes scored the final 21 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter. Penn State gained 147 yards in the first quarter, but was limited to 160 the remainder of the game.

In his first full game this season, junior linebacker Navorro Bowman recorded a career-high 13 tackles. He also had three tackles-for-loss for (minus-7) yards. Bowman had not played since the first quarter of the season opener vs. Akron.

Senior linebacker Josh Hull tied a career-high with 13 tackles, including 2.0 TFL for minus-8 yards. He also made 13 tackles last week vs. Temple and had 11 two weeks ago vs. Syracuse. Sophomore safety Nick Sukay recorded a career-high nine tackles and grabbed his first career interception in the first quarter. He also had a career-best four pass break-ups.

Junior linebacker Bani Gbadyu made his fourth career start and had a career-high seven tackles. He started in place of senior co-captain Sean Lee, who did not play due to a sprained knee suffered against Temple.

The Penn State defense has allowed only three touchdowns this season, none in the first half.

Chaz Powell


With a steady rain falling since early afternoon, the Nittany Lions electrified the enthusiastic crowd on their first play from scrimmage. Clark faked a handoff to Evan Roister and launched a missile to Chaz Powell, who hauled in the pass just over midfield and sprinted into the end zone for a 79-yard scoring strike, sending the Whitehouse crowd into delirium. Collin Wagner's PAT made it 7-0 just 1:45 into the game.

Clark's 79-yard scoring strike to Powell were their career longest pass and reception, respectively. The 79-yard touchdown pass also was the longest completion by the Lions since Stephfon Green had an 80-yard TD catch last season against Michigan.

On Iowa's second possession, sophomore safety Sukay alertly dove and caught a pass that had been bobbled and kicked, grabbing it at the Penn State 21. The Nittany Lions then launched a 20-play, 10:17 drive that culminated in a 27-yard field goal by Wagner, making the score 10-0 with :52 left in the first period. The drive was Penn State's longest for plays and time in the Big Ten era.

The Lions were backed up near their own end zone and Iowa capitalized to get on the scoreboard. Defensive end Broderick Binns forced Clark to fumble in the end zone and Johnnie Troutman pounced on it, resulting in a safety with 11:47 left in the second quarter. The safety was the first for a Penn State opponent since the 2004 game at Indiana.

The Hawkeyes made the cut the lead to 10-5 on a 41-yard field goal by Daniel Murray with 4:41 left in the half.

There wasn't any scoring in the third quarter, but the Hawkeyes took the lead early in the fourth. Adrian Clayborn blocked a Jeremy Boone punt, picked it up and scored on a 53-yard play with 12:21 left in the game. Ricky Stanzi was sacked on the two-point attempt, keeping the Iowa lead at 11-10. The blocked punt was the first of Boone's career after 110 punts.

The Hawkeyes got the ball back on a pass that went through Royster's hands and was intercepted by Pat Angerer, who returned it 38 yards to the Penn State 24. Adam Robinson's 13-yard run gave Iowa an 18-10 lead with 8:32 to play.

Powell returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards and Iowa was called for a late hit, giving Penn State the ball at the Hawkeyes' 36. On first down, Royster ran for 18 yards, but fumbled and Karl Klug recovered at the Iowa 19.

The Nittany Lions forced a punt and took possession at their own 30, but on third down, Clark was intercepted. The Hawkeyes moved to the PSU 14 and Murray's 31-yard field goal with :08 left sealed the game.

Clark's 198 passing yards give him 3,697 passing yards for his career, moving him into ninth place in the Penn State annals. Clark trails Kevin Thompson (3,710 yards) for eighth place. Clark also threw for one touchdown tonight, giving him 28 touchdown passes in his career, which ties him with Tom Shuman for seventh place at Penn State.

Penn State visits Illinois on Saturday for its first road game of the season. The contest will kick at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT and be televised by ABC (ESPN outside the ABC coverage area). The Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com also will air the contest.


 

 

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