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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 12 Penn State led from the game's opening drive to the finish, as another 200-plus all-purpose yard performance by Saquon Barkley and a staunch run defense that yielded just 30 yards carried Penn State to a 41-14 victory over Iowa in Big Ten football action Saturday night Beaver Stadium.
A raucous crowd of 106,194 cheered the Nittany Lions to their fifth straight victory and their sixth straight at home. At 7-2, Penn State is off to its best start since starting the 2011 season 8-1. The Lions have won 12 out of their last 13 home games. Penn State is now guaranteed its 12th consecutive winning season. Only four additional teams have posted winning records each of the last 12 years.
Penn State totaled 599 yards of total offense, its most since totaling 661 against Rutgers in 1995, and its most in a Big Ten game since totaling 653 against Michigan State in 1994. Barkley paced a Penn State rushing attack that totaled 359 yards, as he rushed for 167 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown run. He also added a 44-yard touchdown reception to total 211 all-purpose yards, breaking 200 in the category for the second consecutive week.
The Nittany Lions defense limited Iowa to just 234 yards, including just 30 on the ground, which is 137.9 yards below the Hawkeyes' season average (167.9 ypg). The last time Penn State held a Big Ten team to 30 yards rushing or fewer was Indiana in 2012 (24 yards). It was also the fewest rushing yards allowed by Penn State since holding Massachusetts to three yards in 2014.
It marked the second consecutive week Penn State held the opposition to 46 yards or less. The last time that Penn State accomplished that feat was in 2007, when the Nittany Lions held Notre Dame to zero yards rushing and Florida International to (minus-3) yards rushing. This is the first time since joining the Big Ten in 1993 that Penn State has held consecutive Big Ten opponents to 50 yards or less of rushing.
Penn State took control of the game from the start, building a 21-0 lead by the midpoint of the second quarter. Wide receiver Saeed Blacknall pulled in a 19-yard touchdown reception on the game's opening drive, and then the Nittany Lions found the end zone on consecutive drives in the second quarter. Barkley broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run on Penn State's first drive of the second quarter, and after an Iowa three-and-out, three consecutive completions to tight end Mike Gesicki placed the Lions at the 1, where McSorley took it across the goal line himself.
- RB Saquon Barkley - Barkley totaled 211 all-purpose yards rushing 20 times for 169 yards and a 57-yard touchdown and catching a career-long 44-yard touchdown reception on wheel route. He now has 1,055 rushing yards for the season and he is the eighth Penn State player to have multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his career. It was his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season.
- QB Trace McSorley - McSorley was successful in the air and on the ground, completing 11-of-18 pass attempts for 240 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 40 yards and a touchdown on 14 keepers on the ground. It was his sixth 200-yard passing game of the season.
- WR Chris Godwin - Godwin caught four passes for 87 yards.
- TE Mike Gesicki - Gesicki caught four passes for 65 yards, with three coming consecutively on one drive in the second quarter, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run for McSorley. Gesicki caught a 43-yard pass that was originally ruled a 44-yard touchdown, but the officials ruled his knee was down at the 1 after a review.
- QB Tommy Stevens - Stevens totaled 71 yards and a touchdown on five carries, all in the fourth quarter.
- Penn State Defense - The Nittany Lions held Iowa to just 234 yards of offense, and just 30 yards on the ground.
- LB Jason Cabinda - Cabinda led Penn State with eight tackles and made a key fourth down stop in the fourth quarter to prevent the Hawkeyes from gaining early momentum.
- DT Kevin Givens, LB Koa Farmer, DE Evan Schwan - The trio accounted for three of Penn State's four sacks as the Nittany Lions also totaled six tackles for loss.
- QB C.J. Beathard - Beathard totaled 204 yards and two touchdowns on 18 completions on 26 attempts. He was intercepted once and sacked four times.
- WR Jerminc Smith - Smith tied for the team lead with five receptions and a touchdown, totaling a team-best 85 yards receiving.
- DB Brandon Snyder - Snyder posted a game-high 12 tackles (eight solo), as well as two behind the line.
- LB Josey Jewell - Jewell made 10 tackles and blocked a field goal in the first quarter,
PSU - 10:28 - TD - Saquon Barkley 57 yd Rush, 6 plays, 80 yards, 3:07 - 14-0
PSU - 7:58 - TD - Trace McSorley 1 yd Rush, 4 plays, 62 yards, 1:21 - 21-0
IOWA - 4:18 - TD - Akrum Wadley 12 yd Pass from C.J. Beathard, 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:40 - 21-7
PSU - 0:00 - FG - Tyler Davis 30 yd Kick, 10 plays, 63 yards, 4:13, - 24-7
PSU - 2:48 - FG - Tyler Davis 37 yd Kick, 11 plays, 31 yards, 4:20 - 27-7
PSU - 14:41 - TD - Saquon Barkley 44 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 1 play, 44 yards, 0:08 - 34-7
PSU - 9:28 - TD - Tommy Stevens 13 yd Rush, 6 plays, 58 yards, 3:26 - 41-7
PENN STATE 15:00-12:43 (2:17, 6 plays, 52 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
A career-long 48-yard kickoff return by Miles Sanders gave Penn State the ball at its own 48 to start the game. Barkley rushed for 19 yards over three carries and McSorley broke-off a 14-yard run on third-and-2 to the Iowa 19. On the very next play, McSorley went to the air and four Saeed Blacknall in the back corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown reception.
Penn State 7, Iowa 0
IOWA 12:43-8:56 (3:47, 8 plays, 40 yards) - TURNOVER ON DOWNS
Iowa took over at its own 25 after a touchback and grinded to the Penn State 34. Facing fourth-and-1, Jason Cabinda penetrated the line to stuff Beathard and Brandon Bell finished him off for the turnover on downs.
PENN STATE 8:56-7:32 (1:24, 5 plays, 53 yards) - BLOCKED FIELD GOAL
A 45-yard pass from McSorley to Godwin to the Iowa 20 opened the drive. Penn State would reach the 12-yard line but Tyler Davis' 30-yard field goal was blocked by Josey Jewell.
PENN STATE 13-35-10:28 (4:46, 6 plays, 80 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Penn State moved the ball 23 yards on five plays, and then Barkley broke off his longest touchdown run in Beaver Stadium, eluding tacklers over 57 yards for the touchdown.
Penn State 14, Iowa 0
PENN STATE 9:19-7:58 (1:21, 4 plays, 62 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
The drive was all Mike Gesicki until his apparent touchdown was overturned on video review. Starting at the Penn State 38, McSorley connected with Gesicki for 13 yards and five yards before finding him wide open down the right sideline. Gesicki lunged for the end zone and it was called a touchdown on the field, but moved back to the 1-yard line on review. McSorley took it himself for his fourth rushing touchdown in his last five games.
Penn State 21, Iowa 0
IOWA 7:58-4:18 (3:45, 7 plays, 75 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
A 27-yard completion to Jerminic Smith and a 24-yard completion to LeShun Daniels keyed Iowa's first scoring drive, and Wadley capped it by eluding multiple tackles on a 12-yard touchdown run.
Penn State 21, Iowa 7
PENN STATE 4:13-0:00 (4:13, 10 plays, 63 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Six rushes and a 25-yard completion to DeAndre Thompkins keyed a field goal drive to end the half. Tyler Davis converter from 30 yards out.
Penn State 24, Iowa 7
PENN STATE 7:08-2:48 (4:20, 11 plays, 31 yards) - FIELD GOAL
Penn State took over on its own 50 and advanced to the 19 on seven straight rushes, with Barkley gaining 25 yards on four carries. A completion to Blacknall to the 1-yard line was overturned on review, and the Nittany Lions settled for a 37-yard Tyler Davis field goal
Penn State 27, Iowa 7
PENN STATE 14:49-14:41 (0:08, 1 play, 44 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Troy Apke's first career interception gave Penn State the ball on the Iowa 44. On the first play, McSorley connected with Saquon Barkley on a wheel route down the right sideline, and Barkley scampered into the end zone untouched for the 44-yard score.
Penn State 34, Iowa 7
PENN STATE 12:54-9:28 (3:26, 6 play, 58 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Miles Sanders rushed four times for 32 yards and Chris Godwin caught and 18-yard pass, advancing the Nittany Lions to the Iowa 13. Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens lined up in the right slot and came around the end in motion, breaking tackles for a touchdown.
Penn State 41, Iowa 7
IOWA 9:24-6:30 (2:54, 9 plays, 81 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard completed a 25-yard pass to Riley McCarron and converted a third-and-10 with a 12-yard completion, setting up a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jerminic Smith.
Penn State 41, Iowa 14
Penn State will play its next two games on the road, traveling to Indiana next Saturday. The game will kick at noon on ABC/ESPN2
To purchase tickets or for information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.