Iowa Penn St Football

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras passes as Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith pursues during the first quarter of Saturday's game at Beaver Stadium in State College.

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State fell to 0-5 for the first time in the program’s 133-year history as visiting Iowa defeated the Nittany Lions, 41-21, on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Iowa’s win not only etched a new mark in Penn State football history, but it also avenged six consecutive losses against the Nittany Lions, a streak that dated back to 2010.

The same themes that plagued the first four weeks of the season carried over into Saturday.

* Penn State’s rush offense failed to get off the ground.

* Nittany Lion turnovers were converted into points.

* Penn State’s defense again looked listless against talented running backs.

Most noteworthy, however, were Iowa’s 24 points scored off Penn State turnovers.

“That is the story of the game, that is the story of the season,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “We got into this situation together; we’re going to get out of this situation together.”

The Nittany Lions had two fumbles and two interceptions on offense to increase their season’s total to 13. Opponents through five games have now scored 51 points off of those mishaps.

Penn State turned to Will Levis at starting quarterback but the Nittany Lions’ offense didn’t fare much better than weeks past.

A five-drive stretch that spanned portions of the second and third quarters for Penn State resulted in a fumble, two consecutive turnovers of downs, a kneel for halftime and another fumble.

The Nittany Lions managed just 62 yards rushing on 35 carries.

Of those 35 carries, 21 were courtesy of Penn State quarterbacks Sean Clifford and Levis. Starting running back Devyn Ford was limited to just three carries (two yards). Holmes received six carries (eight yards) and Keyvone Lee only tallied eight yards and one touchdown.

Penn State averaged 1.8 yards per rush.

Levis was 13-of-16 for 106 yards with two fumbles before Clifford replaced him in the third quarter.

Clifford threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brenton Strange on his first play of the game. Clifford also threw a 68-yard touchdown to Jahan Dotson on Clifford’s second pass attempt of the contest. The touchdown was Dotson’s six of the season. Dotson finished with a game-high 139 yards receiving.

Clifford’s two touchdowns passes were followed with interceptions, the first of which was tipped at the line by and intercepted by Iowa’s Chauncey Golston.

Iowa followed the turnover with a 24-yard field goal.

Later in the fourth quarter, Clifford threw a 74-yard pick-six to Iowa defender Daviyon Nixon that killed any hopes Penn State had at a come-from-behind win.

“We’re not playing well enough in all three phases: Offense, defense and special teams,” Franklin said. “We’re not playing well enough in either. We’ve had times in the past where we have struggled or started slow on offense and our defense has played well, or vice versa, or our special teams has come through for us, we’re not doing it really in all three phases.”

Penn State managed to score its first opener-quarter touchdown since Week 1 against Indiana after Lee ran in a 6-yard touchdown with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.

What Penn State lacked in run offense, Iowa possessed en masse.

Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent ran for a game-high 101 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while backfield mate Tyler Goodson posted 78 yards and one touchdown on 20 rushes.

“It starts in practice, it starts in film,” Penn State defensive end Shaka Toney said. “Football is a tough sport. Things happen. You can’t hang your head. You have to figure out how you’re going to correct it so it doesn’t happen again.”




Iowa 3 21 7 10 — 41

Penn St. 7 0 14 0 — 21

1st Quarter

IOWA-FG Duncan 40, 8:23.

PSU-K.Lee 6 run (Pinegar kick), 2:12.

2nd Quarter

IOWA-Goodson 10 run (Duncan kick), 14:35.

IOWA-Sargent 1 run (Duncan kick), 6:34.

IOWA-Sargent 1 run (Duncan kick), :11.

3rd Quarter

IOWA-Petras 3 run (Duncan kick), 6:45.

PSU-Strange 28 pass from Clifford (kick failed), 4:01.

PSU-Dotson 68 pass from Clifford (K.Lee pass from Clifford), :07.

4th Quarter

IOWA-FG Duncan 24, 7:14.

IOWA-Nixon 71 interception return (Duncan kick), 1:58.



First downs 24 19

Rushes-yards 46-175 35-62

Passing 186 280

Comp-Att-Int 18-28-0 26-38-2

Return Yards 30 50

Punts-Avg. 5-44.4 4-45.2

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-2

Penalties-Yards 6-45 2-15

Time of Possession 31:50 28:10


RUSHING-Iowa: Sargent 15-101, Goodson 20-78, Kelly-Martin 3-13, Tracy 1-1, Petras 7-(minus 18). Penn State: Levis 15-34, Clifford 6-13, C.Holmes 6-8, K.Lee 4-6, Ford 3-2, (Team) 1-(minus 1).

PASSING-Iowa: Petras 18-28-0-186. Penn State: Levis 13-16-0-106, Clifford 13-22-2-174.

RECEIVING-Iowa: Ragaini 4-46, LaPorta 3-32, B.Smith 3-27, Smith-Marsette 2-25, Beyer 2-24, Tracy 2-22, Goodson 1-8, Pottebaum 1-2. Penn State: Dotson 8-139, K.Lee 6-41, Strange 3-38, C.Holmes 3-12, Washington 2-31, T.Johnson 2-14, George 1-4, Ford 1-1.


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