No. 20 Nittany Lions Fall To No. 17 Hawkeyes, 24-3
Oct. 2, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa grabbed a 10-0 first quarter lead and made a goal line stand early in the third period to hold off a determined Penn State effort, 24-3, in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
The Penn State defense kept the Hawkeyes off the scoreboard in the second half, holding Iowa to just four first downs and 114 yards in the final 30 minutes. But, the Hawkeyes' No. 1 ranked defense held the visitors to 54 rushing yards and 3 of 13 on third down conversions.
Quarterback Rob Bolden recorded his fourth 200-yard passing game of the season, increasing his record for the most 200-yard games ever by a Penn State true freshman. Bolden was 20 of 37 for 212 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Devon Smith tied his career-high with five receptions, gaining 58 yards, and Justin Brown tied his career-high for the second consecutive week with four catches, good for 42 yards.
Penn State recorded 9.0 tackles for losses, its second-highest total of the season and limited Iowa to 2 of 10 on third down conversions. Senior linebacker Chris Colasanti made a career-high 2.5 TFL and cornerback D'Anton Lynn tied his career-high with nine tackles. Safety Drew Astorino made a season-high eight tackles.
Junior safety Nick Sukay grabbed his third interception over the past two games (fifth of his career) at the Penn State 17 in the first quarter.
Iowa took the game's opening possession to the Penn State 3-yard-line, but the Nittany Lion defense stiffened and the Hawkeyes was forced to bring on Michael Meyer for a 20-yard field goal with 9:21 left in the first quarter.
On Iowa's second possession, safety Nick Sukay grabbed his third interception in two games at the Penn State 17. The Hawkeyes took a 10-0 lead, though, on their next possession, as Ricky Stanzi hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:00 left in the opening period.
Penn State forced Iowa to punt on its next two possessions, but then the Hawkeyes moved 68 yards on eight plays to take a 17-0 lead. Stanzi scored on a one-yard sneak with 1:41 to play in the half.
Late in the first half, Bolden connected with Brett Brackett on a 49-yard completion and he was tripped up at the Iowa 2-yard-line with just three seconds left. The reception was a career long for the co-captain. After a delay of game penalty, Collin Wagner connected on a 25-yard field goal on the final play to cut the lead to 17-3.
Penn State took the opening possession of the second half downfield and moved into position to cut the margin to one score. But, on fourth-and-goal from the Iowa one, Bolden swept right and was stopped just inches from the goal line and the Hawkeyes took over with 7:11 left in the third period. Bolden was 7 of 8 for 56 yards on the drive.
Anthony Fera delivered a 74-yard fourth quarter punt, which was the fourth-longest punt in Penn State history. It was the Lions' longest punt since a 78-yard Jeremy Kapinos kick at Ohio State in 2004.
The Nittany Lions forced three consecutive Iowa punts in the fourth quarter and took possession at their own 16 with 1:40 to play. But, Bolden was picked off by Shaun Prater at the Penn State 33 and he weaved his way into the end zone for the game's final score.
Penn State will return to Happy Valley to face Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 9 in its 91st Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. at Beaver Stadium and the contest will air on ESPN2, as well as the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com. Illinois is 2-2 and 0-1 in the Big Ten after falling to No. 2 Ohio State, 24-13, on Saturday.