Penn State survives road test at Iowa on final play

Arnold Nichols
September 26, 2017

That's about all the description required for Penn State's thrilling victory at Kinnick Stadium against the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday night.

We'll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game. If the 6-foot-6 tight end draws a safety instead he'll use his size to create big plays in the passing game. It was not the road win in Ann Arbor.

Penn State is the better team, they should win Saturday night but Iowa loves to play spoiler in this series. Notre Dame would give Michigan State its only loss that year before taking a two-year hiatus in the rivalry only to be dug up last year.

Iowa hits the road this week with games at Michigan (Friday) and Michigan State (Sunday). Still unbeaten. Still ranked No. 4. Here's our prediction for this Big Ten clash. More vital: It also means the Nittany Lions are still in control of their destiny.

Trace McSorley got famous throwing footballs over defenses. They gave up big plays in crunch time. They let an inferior team hang around. He was very, very good as a freshman and great as a sophomore, overshadowed by Dalvin Cook and few others last season.

He lauded Iowa's defense for limiting Penn State from big plays - something the Hawkeyes were not able to do in 2016 - and for forcing the Nittany Lions to adjust on the fly, even while they were on the field for almost 2/3 of the game. Tonight's game will take place from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa and air live on ABC. "When I was out there, I was playing for him".

It's the second time this season that the junior Heisman Trophy candidate has been awarded the honor, and the fourth time in his career. He ran for 12 yards, then completed three more passes, including a 14-yarder to Barkley in which the tailback made a fantastic play to beat Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell and get of bounds.

Moorhead doesn't have to change anything for Stevens if Penn State needs its backup to play his natural position.

Seniors Annika Albrecht, Briana Holman and Kelly Hunter led the charge for the inspired Huskers. He also scored a touchdown. James Franklin agrees. "That's not who we are, and that's not who he is. He got caught up in the moment", the coach said afterward. It can be viewed as the Chris Godwin effect. He slid right at the snap, hauled in a swing pass from McSorley and burst through Georgia State's secondary for an opening 10-yard score. That's a significant drop that has lots of implications.

Barkley ran 28 times for 211 yards and a touchdown.

It obviously hasn't hurt the Lions so far, but usually reliable placekicker Tyler Davis has missed two of his four field goal tries this season, both from 39 yards. Then they added 160 yards in the fourth quarter. That 12th play was a heart-stopper, too - but we'll get to that in a bit.

Let's also not forget that Saquon Barkley has also had some improvements receiving as well, making him an even bigger threat than previous year. If you're not getting anywhere near as many of them, drives take longer, there's a chance for more mistakes and defenses can game plan for one less threat.

You'll struggle to find examples of college players, aside from quarterbacks, having a bigger impact on an offense than Barkley did over the course of the 60 minutes.

Penn State, for now, but Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin are lurking. All season. That's phenomenal.

Akrum Wadley had two fourth quarter touchdowns for Iowa.

"We had nearly two minutes, and three time-outs left, " McSorley said.

From my view, Penn State is fine. With a whole year of improvement and new abilities Barkley is equipped with, is going to make this game even harder than last year. "There's a lot of stuff that I already know I need to get better at".

The D kept PSU in the game.

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