Even though they made some relatively meaningless mistakes late in the game, the Penn State Nittany Lions still had little trouble in beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 38-14 on Saturday night. With a dominant run defense leading the way, Penn State shut down the Iowa offense for the vast majority of the game before allowing a late score.
One of the weaker offenses in the nation, Iowa could muster just 209 total yards, 14 first downs and one touchdown against the Penn State defense. The Hawkeyes' first score actually came on special teams when Sam Ficken returned a kickoff for a touchdown after the Nittany Lions took a 38-0 lead in the fourth quarter.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin had another strong game for the team, completing 26-of-38 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Starting running back Bill Belton contributed 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 16 carries, as well.
While the Hawkeyes have really struggled to pass the ball this year, they've occasionally had some success on the ground. That wasn't the case on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions held Iowa to just 20 yards on 23 carries, an average of 0.8 yards per carry.
Box Score Hero: McGloin and Belton are the big two offensive performers from the game, but Penn State's Kyle Carter (six catches, 85 yards) and Iowa's Keenan Davis (four catches, 83 yards, 1 touchdown) both had solid receiving numbers on the night.
Rankings Ramifications: While Penn State isn't eligible for the USA Today Coaches' Poll, it will eventually start to garner some attention from AP Poll voters if it continues to beat Big Ten opponents. Even in a down year for the conference, the Nittany Lions have had solid victories over Illinois, then-No. 24 Northwestern and now Iowa this month.
But Did They Cover? The Hawkeyes were favored by 1.5 points, so they didn't cover.
For More On This Game: For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly. For more on Hawkeyes football, visit Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire.
Next Week's Schedule: In a match-up of marquee programs currently under the NCAA's thumb, the Nittany Lions take on the Ohio State Buckeyes next week. The Hawkeyes head to Evanston, Ill. to take on the Northwestern Wildcats.