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If the play calling against the Hawkeyes is any indication, though, it looks like McGloin might be gaining a bit of an edge.
McGloin took a majority of Penn State's pass attempts, finishing 12-19 for 133 yards and an interception. Bolden was just 3-7 for 31 yards on the afternoon, and he spent a lot of his time handing off to Silas Redd and Penn State's other backs when he was in the game.
After the game, though, McGloin wasn't focused on the amount of passes he threw.
"I really don't pay too much attention to the playing time," McGloin said. "I just like to get in there and contribute any way that I can. I just want to go in there and move the ball a little bit."
Bolden was also unphased by the imbalance of pass attempts when he talked to reporters after the game, choosing instead to focus on the team outcome.
"I wish I could have played more but all in all, it's a team game and we got the W," Bolden said. "We won the game so I'm cool with it."
Coach Joe Paterno said after the game that he'll have to look at the tape before making a decision about what quarterback strategy to deploy this coming week against Purdue, so this will be a story line to keep an eye on during the week.
Penn State's defensive effort in the team's 13-3 win against the Iowa on Saturday at Beaver Stadium was solid across the board, but one young linebacker in particular made a statement with his play against the Hawkeyes.
Sophomore Khairi Fortt broke through Iowa's blockers for 1.5 sacks, the half sack coming in tandem with Eric Latimore on the Hawkeyes' final drive. He also came up with five total tackles on the afternoon, good for third among the linebacking corps.
After the game, though, Fortt wasn't looking at final statistics. He was just focused on how much fun he had helping his team shut down its nemesis, Iowa.
"It was really fun today," Fortt said. "It might be the best game I've ever had, fun-wise. Our whole defense united and we played as one out there. We all got each other hyped and it just feels like heaven out there with another guy, you don't even have to say anything to him, you just look in his eyes and you know he's got your back."
Fortt has been a versatile option for defensive coordinator Tom Bradley all season, working in the middle, weak, and strong side linebacker spots. In many ways, he's worked himself into the fourth linebacker in Penn State's rotation thanks to his ability to play all over the field. Fortt is happy to help however he can.
"I just play wherever they need me," Fortt said. "I'm fine with it and I'm going to keep working hard."
The Penn State Nittany Lions held the Iowa Hawkeyes offense to no touchdowns, which hadn't been done by anyone in four years. Penn State grinded out the win, running the ball all over the Hawkeyes defense for a total of 231 yards. Running back Silas Redd had 142 yards on the ground on 28 carries to help Penn State dominate the time of possession.
The quarterback duo of Matthew McGloin and Rob Bolden was ineffective initially, but once Penn State realized McGloin was able to move their offense in the second half, the Lions began to pull away. McGloin ended the day going 12 for 19 with 133 yards, one touchdown and one interception. McGloin sunk the dagger on a play action fake late in the fourth quarter to put Penn State up over Iowa 13-3.
The Penn State defense forced turnovers in the second half, intercepting Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg twice. Iowa entered the game with the best passing attack in the Big 10, but was limited to just 169 yards in the air and 84 yards on the ground. Iowa's preseason All Big 10 running back Marcus Coker was bottled up all game long, getting just 74 yards on the ground.
Following Micah Hyde's interception of Penn State's Matthew McGloin for Iowa, the Hawkeyes claw their way over midfield with a 24-yard pass from James Vandenberg to Marvin McNutt. That's the last play of the third quarter with Penn State still leading Iowa 6-3.
Speaking of McGloin's interception, it was his first on 88 attempts this season, and boy, was it ugly. His receiver in the far corner clearly wasn't open and with the Nittany Lions safely in scoring range, the obvious moves would have been to tuck and run or throw the ball away. He didn't do it, and now Penn State's defense is forced to bail the offense out again.
McGloin has been getting a lot of love from fans and media lately as Rob Bolden's performance has been admittedly worse than McGloin's, but McGloin's decision making still needs some work, clearly. That interception right there is probably an indication of why coach Joe Paterno is so torn about who to give the outright job to halfway through the season.
On third down following McNutt's big catch, the Penn State defense finally gets a big play, forcing a fumble and recovering in Iowa territory. The stadium is rocking as Zombie Nation blares. Let's see if that's what gets this Lion offense going.
McGloin is still the quarterback following the fumble. He hands off to Silas Redd for a gain of five yards to start the drive, and that gets Redd over 100 yards for the day. That's his third 100-yard performance of the season.
Penn State is now really pounding the ball on the ground now. Redd, Joe Suhey and Curtis Dukes all have carries on the drive. A holding penalty wipes a Silas Redd touchdown off the board, though, so that breaks the momentum of the drive a bit. Dukes wipes that penalty out with a pair of runs, though, and the Lions are now in the red zone.
I'm not sure Penn State has run the ball this well against an FBS opponent all season.
A couple more Redd runs give Penn State a first and goal inside the Iowa 5-yardline. McGloin finishes off the drive with a touchdown to Kevin Haplea in the back of the endzone. The masses at Beaver Stadium rejoice as the Nittany Lions take a 13-3 lead with 8:08 to play in the game.
Penn State scoring summary: 11 plays, 49 yards, 6:04 time of possession.
Matthew McGloin again takes over at quarterback with Penn State pinned on its own 4-yardline to start this drive. If the Nittany Lions can't score here, it would at least behoove them to change the field position a little bit in this defensive battle. Giving the Hawkeyes a short field in this kind of game could be big trouble.
Just as I say that, McGloin hits Derek Moye on the far sideline for a 19-yard gain out to Penn State's own 26. Silas Redd follows that up with a 12-yard run. McGloin keep the chains moving with a 14-yard pass to Justin Brown on the far sideline Not a bad start to the drive. Let's see if Penn State can finally finish.
Silas Redd fights inside of Iowa's 40-yardline with a nifty 15-yard run that included a pretty sick spin move. As I said earlier, he's running well today, getting a fair amount of yardage after first contact and keeping his runs north-and-south.
After Redd's run, fellow back Curtis Dukes enters the game and rips off a 18-yard run right up the middle of the Hawkeye defense. Dukes has had a solid game in relief of Redd 40 yards on six carries.
On third and goal from the Iowa six, McGloin throws an interception to Micah Hyde. Another drive with no points for the Nittany Lions.
Just as it looked like the staff might be leaning toward Matthew McGloin in this quarterback competition, Rob Bolden is back in there after McGloin's first drive of the second half ended with a punt. Bolden responds by leading a three-and-out, with a dead-duck pass on third down after getting hit.
Iowa muffs Penn State's ensuing punt, but recovers. Almost a huge play in this game for Penn State, but it wasn't to be. The Hawkeyes follow that up with a false start on first down, but convert for a first down on a completion from James Vandenberg to Keenan Davis on third down. Vandenberg picks up another first down on a third down QB sneak.
The Hawkeyes keep the drive going as Penn State takes a facemask penalty. On the next set of downs, Vandenberg picks up five yards on a scramble but Vandenberg is almost picked off on third down by Drew Astorino. Astorino would have had a touchdown going the other way if he'd caught it clean, but he dropped the ball as the stadium gasped in disappointment.
With 6:45 left in the third quarter, it's still Penn State 6, Iowa 3.
Penn State has decided to stick with quarterback Matthew McGloin to start the second half. This is his third drive of the game, while Rob Bolden has still played in just one. Could McGloin be getting a leg up this quarterback race?
Word is Joe Paterno is in the press box for the second half. He said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that he wanted to be on the field for the whole game, but he must have been hurting.
The Nittany Lions pick up a first down on a couple of rushes, but their first drive of the half sputters on the next set of downs. Anthony Fera comes on and boots a 58-yard punt.
True to the form of this game, though, Iowa counters with a three-and-out on the ensuing Hawkeye drive. This game is all about defense right now, and if you're Penn State, that's probably not a bad thing.
With 11:45 remaining in the third quarter, it's still 6-3 Penn State here at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State leads Iowa 6-3 at halftime here at Beaver Stadiums. Here are you stats at the break.
For Iowa, James Vandenberg has racked up 71 yards on 8-14 passing.
For Iowa, Marcus Coker is setting the pace with 47 yards on 11 carries. Vandenberg has 21 yards on five rushes.
Fullback Joe Suhey leads the way for the Lions with 33 yards on three catches. Justin Brown has 28 yards on two receptions and Andrew Szczerba has added 20 yards with his two catches. Derek Moye and Devon Smith have 23 and 21 yards respectively on their only catches.
Coker has 23 yards on three catches for the Hawkeyes and Marvin McNutt has 24 yards on two receptions.
Mike Daniels paces the Hawkeyes with three tackles.
Matthew McGloin wasn't his best on his first drive of the game that led to Penn State's second field goal of the day, but he did what he had to do to put points on the board. He was 5-7 passing on the drive for 75 yards, compared to Rob Bolden's 3-6 for 31 yards on his first drive.
These two teams are chewing up a lot of clock. It'll be a surprise of both get more than three drives each in the half. Welcome to Big Ten season, folks.
Iowa comes out after Penn State's field goal and is forced into a three-and-out by the Nittany Lions' defense. Quarterback James Vandenberg missed on all three of his passes on the drive as Penn State brought good pressure.
McGloin remains Penn State's quarterback on drive No. 3. He comes out and hits Devon Smith for 21 yards to get the Lions in to Hawkeye territory.
Stephfon Green, suspended by coach Joe Paterno for the first five games this season, just entered the game for the first time all year on 3rd-and-9. He caught a screen pass from McGloin but was gobbled up for a loss of four yards. Penn State is forced to punt.
After getting the ball back, Iowa elects to take its offense to the ground, running three straight times for a first down. Vandenberg picks up another first down with a scramble up to his own 44-yardline. The Lions' defense rebounds, however, as Khairi Fortt slices through for a sack. That play ends the half and Penn State will take a 6-3 lead into the locker room.
We'll have stats here in a minute on SB Nation Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
Matt McGloin is out on the field for Penn State's second drive of the afternoon. That's the quickest hook Rob Bolden has gotten all season. Looks like the coaching staff has decided it wants to rotate McGloin in more than in past games.
On his first two sets of downs, McGloin picks up first downs with some nice out pattern throws to the sideline.
Silas Redd is running hard in the early going today. The Hawkeyes just had him wrapped up twice on a first down run, and he squirted away from them before finally getting stopped. Nifty.
McGloin hits Derek Moye for a big 23-yard pass down to the Iowa 23 and Penn State is threatening again. It wasn't the best pass, but things look far more efficient on this drive, however, with McGloin in the game.
After the Lions take an illegal procedure penalty, McGloin hits Joe Suhey for 21 yards down to the Iowa 7-yardline, but the drive stalls after a couple of incompletions, and Anthony Fera is forced to come on again for a 20-yard field goal attempt. He converts, and Penn State leads 6-3 with 4:59 to play in the half.
Penn State scoring summary: 12 plays, 81 yards, 5:48 time of possession.
Penn State was able to score on its first drive, but Rob Bolden wasn't exactly at his best. He completed 3-6 passes on the drive for 31 yards, but was almost picked off twice, and got lucky on a deflected pass that found his tight end. We'll see if he can build on the momentum of the scoring drive when he returns.
Iowa comes out after the Penn State field goal and picks up a first down on a third down pass from James Vandenberg to Keenan Davis. After a run by Marcus Coker, the first quarter ends with Penn State still ahead 3-0.
After the quarter break, Vandenberg comes out and completes a 20-yard pass to Marvin McNutt into Penn State territory. He follows that up with a 9-yard run into field goal range and Coker picks up another first down into the red zone. Hawkeyes are threatening now.
Looks like Nathan Stupar was injured on that Coker run. He was slow to get up and trainers came out to help him off the field. He walked off under his own power, though.
Stupar returns for third down inside the Lions' 10-yardline, and Penn State finally gets the stop. Iowa picks up a 23-yard field goal from Mike Meyer. Score is now tied 3-3 with 10:51 to play in the half.
Iowa scoring summary: 12 plays, 72 yards, 5:39 time of possession.
Rob Bolden is under center to start for Penn State after the defense forced a stop on Iowa's opening series. His first pass falls to the turf before Silas Redd picks up a first down on his first carry, a 16-yard scamper. Bolden rebounds with a nine yard pass to Joe Suhey for a first down as Penn State approaches midfield.
Bolden shows off his scrambling ability on the ensuing firs down by running nine yards and he then completes a pass off an Iowa defender's foot into Hawkeye territory.
Curtis Dukes gets his first carry of the game, and picks up a first down to the Iowa 22-yardline. He's been seeing more and more action in the absence of Stephfon Green and Brandon Beachum the last couple of weeks. It'll be interesting to see how much of a role he has today.
Penn State's drive stalls after Bolden misses on a pass to Justin Brown. Evan Lewis comes on for a field goal attempt, but it's a fake, as he runs right up the middle for eight yards and a first down to Iowa's 9-yardline. The Lions can't take advantage, though, as the drive again stalls, and Anthony Fera comes on for a 20-yard field goal. He converts, and Penn State now leads 3-0.
Penn State scoring summary: 18 plays, 88 yards, 8:16 time of possession.
Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. Penn State's defense will take the field first, which the way the offense has been performing, probably isn't such a bad thing for the Nittany Lions.
James Vandenberg's first throw of the afternoon is an incompletion and the Hawkeyes follow that up with a run that's smothered by Penn State's Jack Crawford. Drew Astorino misses a tackle on third down, however, and Vandenberg completes a 13-yard pass for an Iowa first down.
Iowa gets over midfield with another completion from Vandenberg and Marcus Coker run, and follows that up with another first down on a pass to Marcus Coker.
Penn State is leaving a lot open on the outside right now. We'll see if they can clamp down on that as the game moves along.
The Lions finally get a stop as Devon Still takes down Coker in the backfield and the defense forces Vandenberg to fall short of a first down on a scramble.
With 9:52 to play in the first quarter, it's still 0-0
Greetings from Beaver Stadium at University Park. It's already been a newsy weekend in the Penn State football world with reports swirling that administration is pursuing former Florida coach Urban Meyer to replace Joe Paterno after this season, but for the next few hours at least, the focus will be on the field as the Nittany Lions look to knock off Iowa for the first time since 2007.
Some pregame notes for you...
Rob Bolden was once again first off the bus today, so he'll get his sixth straight start. Matthew McGloin will get his share of snaps, but Bolden will be the guy under center for the first drive at least.
On the injury front, it looks like both wide receiver Curtis Drake and cornerback D'Anton Lynn are out today, as both are walking around in street clothes during warmups. Drake has been battling a leg injury since spring practice and Lynn is still fighting the effects of a hit against Eastern Michigan here at Beaver Stadium two weeks ago.
Stay tuned for more from the stadium as the afternoon progresses.
Last Saturday against Indiana, Penn State's starting right tackle, Chima Okoli, was benched after taking a false start penalty in the game against the Hoosiers. It appears Paterno plans on sticking with Okoli moving forward, however, noting he's been playing hurt much of the season.
"Chima should be one of the better tackles around," Paterno said. "He's really playing hurt. That's to his credit."
Michael Farrell replaced Okoli at right tackle after the penalty, and Paterno said he wants to get the junior on the field to "move him along." Don't expect him to supplant Okoli as the starter in the near future, though.
Overall, Paterno is pleased with his offensive line at the moment, noting that while it still has a lot of work to do, things are trending in the right direction for the team.
"I think we're making progress," Paterno said. "I thought we did some things [at practice] we had to do but we obviously have to get better."
Penn State's secondary is an area of concern heading into the Iowa game this Saturday at Beaver Stadium as cornerbacks D'Anton Lynn and Stephon Morris are both battling injury issues. At his weekly press conference on Tuesday, coach Joe Paterno had good news to report about one, but not the other.
Paterno said he expects Morris to play against the Hawkeyes, but referred to Lynn as "doubtful," saying the senior is still undergoing tests. The official injury report lists him as "possible" so there's a chance he could play, but if he's still working with the doctors at this point in the week, it's unlikely he'll make it on the field Saturday.
Lynn was carted off the field two weeks ago at Eastern Michigan with what appeared to be a neck injury. The situation turned out to be a lot less serious than initially feared, but he still appears to be suffering from some lingering side effects.
Senior running back might play against the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
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