Iowa Football

Iowa vs. Penn State Game Report: Grades, numbers, notes and more

Hawkeyes go 26 drives between touchdowns against Big Ten opponents

Inside Penn State’s 17-12 win Saturday night over Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

Play of the Game

THE SETUP: It’s back to the cash or no cash thing. This one was no cash for Iowa and money for Penn State.

Iowa had a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter. Penn State took possession at its 15.

The Nittany Lions moved the football incrementally down the field, eventually reaching the Iowa 22 but facing a third-and-7. Iowa declined to add a defensive back on the play, with linebacker Nick Niemann defending slot wide receiver K.J. Hamler.

You see where we’re going here.

WHAT HAPPENED: Penn State quarter Sean Clifford saw the mismatch and threw a short out pass to about the 15-yard line to Hamler. Niemann was to the inside of Hamler, dove outside for the pass and missed. That set Hamler loose. He ran untouched to the 4 and went airborn.

He leaped toward the end zone as he went out of bounds. Video review confirmed he had reached the football over the goal line for the touchdown.

THE RESULT: A 7-3 Penn State lead with 8:36 left in the first half. That capped a beautiful 15-play, 85-yard drive that took five minutes and 40 seconds.

Keith Duncan’s short field goal right before the half got Iowa got within 7-6. But that was as close as the Hawkeyes would get.



Marc Morehouse: C

The offense needs more than one stick to start a fire.

Mike Hlas: C-


Cool flyover before the game. But the Hawkeyes offense needed some of the fossil fuel the jets used.

Jeff Johnson: C-

Iowa’s defense can only do so much. The Hawkeyes offense remains touchdown phobic.

By the Numbers

15 — Points scored for Iowa in its last two games.

26 — The number of drives between touchdowns for Iowa against Big Ten Conference opponents. The Hawkeyes scored one late in the third quarter of the home game at Rutgers, didn’t score any last week against Michigan and waited until there was 2:31 left in this one to get one. And it took a great catch by Brandon Smith to get it.

69,034 — Your Saturday night attendance at Kinnick Stadium.


• Some Penn State players wore T-shirts during pregame warmups that said “Chains, Tattoo, Dreads, & WE ARE,” as a form of protest for a racist letter Penn State safety Jonathan Sutherland received from an alumnus last week saying his shoulder-length dreadlocks were “disgusting” and that the team should have a dress code. The letter also predicted Sutherland would play in the NFL but that the alumnus and his wife don’t watch the league because the players have “disgusting tattoos, awful hair and immature antics in the end zone.”

• Iowa tight end Nate Wieting caught two passes on the same drive in the first half, which matched his season total coming into the game. The 36 yards he gained on those catches tripled his season total in that department and then some. His two previous receptions garnered 10 yards. Wieting finished with four catches for 54 yards.

• Iowa had 30 rushes for 70 yards, a 2.3 per-carry average. Freshman Tyler Goodson had a team-high 35 yards on eight carries. Toren Young had 22 yards on seven carries, Mekhi Sargent 18 yards on nine carries.

• Carson King was introduced to the Kinnick crowd in the first quarter and received a rousing ovation. King is the Iowa State fan who went from asking for beer money on TV to helping raise $3 million for the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

• This was the 20th night game at Kinnick Stadium, the fourth time Iowa and Penn State played here at night. Iowa is now 13-7 under the lights at home.


• Former Hawkeye quarterback Ricky Stanzi was Iowa’s honorary captain Saturday. He went 3-0 in his career as a starter against Penn State, beating the Nittany Lions in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

• Also honored Saturday night were members of Iowa’s 2009 team that ended up beating Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl, 24-14. Former Hawkeye defensive lineman Matt Kroul also was feted for being this year’s inductee on the America Needs Farmers Wall of Honor.

• Highly touted basketball recruit Xavier Foster of Oskaloosa was at Kinnick as part of his official visit to Iowa. The 7-footer is a 4-star recruit by Rivals. His finalists are Iowa, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, Baylor and Providence. Foster has said on Twitter he will make his commitment November 11.

• Iowa defensive lineman Chauncey Golston had to wear number 25 in the fourth quarter after his original 57 jersey was torn. Since Iowa wore special one-off tops, there was only one jersey per number. Defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore tore his 95 jersey in the first half and wore 96 the rest of the game.

• Penn State had 11 sets of players with duplicate numbers dress Saturday. Keep in mind, only 74 players are on a travel roster. The duplicates included jersey number 12, where one of PSU’s players is freshman linebacker Brandon Smith. Iowa also has a number 12 named Brandon Smith, the junior wide receiver.

Injury report

Offensive lineman Cole Banwart was injured in practice this week and missed the game. Ferentz said after the game he is out for the season.

Offensive lineman Kyler Schott continues to be out with a leg injury. Iowa’s starting line Saturday night was Alaric Jackson at left tackle, Landan Paulsen at left guard, Tyler Linderbaum at center, Mark Kallenberger at right guard and Tristan Wirfs at right tackle.

Matt Hankins started at right cornerback for Iowa, his first action since sustaining a hamstring injury against Rutgers in the second game of the season. Cornerback Riley Moss saw his first playing time, in nickel situations and on special teams. He had a leg injury that kept him out the first five games.


Brady Reiff also returned to the starting lineup at defensive tackle. The senior hadn’t played since the Rutgers game.

Linebacker Kristian Welch missed some plays Saturday night but Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said he should be fine and won’t miss games. Ferentz described him as “nicked up.”

Up next

Iowa and Purdue (2-4, 1-2) play an 11 a.m. game next Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPN2. Purdue is coming off a 40-14 home win against Maryland.

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