Penn State defeats Iowa in the rain


There's still a chance Iowa can play for a Big Ten title in Indianapolis, but a lot has to happen after Saturday's 30-24 loss to Penn State.

It was a fitting end to what Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz called "kind of an unusual game", with little sustained offense on a chilly and rainy day.

Penn State entered last weekend's contest at IN looking to kick a two-game losing streak to the curb.

The final play perfectly encapsulated the weirdness of Penn State-Iowa. IN ran a eye-popping 100 offensive snaps against the Nittany Lions defense that had a hard time sustaining pressure and getting off the field in third down opportunities. McSorley returned before halftime, but it was his 51-yard touchdown run to kick off the third quarter and give his team a 24-17 lead that let Penn State fans know he was feeling like his old self. Iowa had two safeties and a touchdown pass by punter Colten Rastetter to defensive tackle Sam Brincks on a faked field goal in the first half, and a pick-six in the second half.

Unsung hero: Tommy Stevens stepped in for a briefly-injured McSorley and rushed five times for 18 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown and a 10-yard run that produced a first down.

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Stevens led a short drive late in the first half to set up Jake Pinegar's career-best 45-yard field goal to make it 17-all at the break. On the fourth down play, Iowa's Nate Stanley was forced to pitch in desperation to offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs. Down by six with 3:18 remaining, Stanley had his team at first-and-goal at the Penn State three-yard line on the verge of taking the lead. He entered the game having missed on all three of his field goal attempts of over 40 yards.

Worst penalty: On fourth-and-1 from the PSU 48 in the second quarter - after a timeout, no less - Miller jumped offsides, gift-wrapping the Hawkeyes a first down. Tight end Noah Fant seemed to be trying to tell one of his teammates that the original play was off.

McSorley gave Penn State a scare when he went down in the second quarter with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Junior running back Miles Sanders had an uncharacteristically average night at Beaver Stadium, rushing for just 62 yards with a long of 16 yards.

Catch it, will ya: Blake Gillikin dropped his first snap of the game, leading to a blocked punt for a safety that gave Iowa a 2-0 lead on the game's first possession.