Mark Brennan / Fight On State

Slow Start, Poor Play Burn Hawkeyes at Penn State

Iowa's slow start and poor play burnt them as the visited Happy Valley coming off a bye week.

To say the Iowa Hawkeyes have underperformed this season would be an understatement. They came in with high expectations following a 12-2 season, but sputtered early on and found themselves at 5-3 entering November.

However, there was still opportunity for Iowa to turn their season around when they traveled to Happy Valley to take on the 12th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

Many thought that Iowa had the talent to hang with a Penn State team that had won four in a row coming in, I sure did. Unfortunately, Iowa did not prove any of the optimists right as they went to Happy Valley and got trounced by the Nittany Lions.

It started right away when Penn State went 52 yards over 6 plays and went out to the early 7-0 lead in just over two minutes of action. 

The Hawkeyes would turn it over on downs on the following possession, but blocked a field goal on the next Penn State drive. The teams traded punts before the talented Saquon Barkley broke off at 57 yard run that put the Nittany Lions up 14 midway through the second quarter. 

The Hawkeyes punted on their ensuing possession for their third time in four possessions to give the ball back to the Lions. They wasted no time going down the field and promptly making it a three score game on a one yard run by QB Trace McSorely. 

Iowa followed by showing the little life that they showed during their night in State College. They finally got on the board on a 12 yard TD pass from C.J. Beathard to Akrum Wadley to make the score 21-7.

Penn State added a field goal before the half and took a 24-7 lead into halftime. 

The Hawkeyes totaled just 128 yards of offense in the first half to Penn State's 348.

Iowa came out of the locker room and would punt on it's opening drive. The Nittany Lions followed suit, but Iowa would punt twice and turn the ball over on the other three possessions they had in the second half before Beathard found Jerminic Smith for 36 yards and a TD. 

Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, this made the score 41-14 as the game was out of reach way before the TD occurred. 

The rest was garbage time as Iowa faced Penn State's second team for about the final 9 minutes or so.

The Penn State offense totaled 600 yards of offense and the Nittany Lions routed the Hawkeyes 41-14. 

For Iowa, just 234 yards of total offense and 30 total rushing yards and on the flip side, Penn State totaled 359 on the ground. They simply just couldn't get anything going and there isn't really any other way to put it other than that they got their butts kicked against a good team. 

Iowa will now look to regroup as they welcome Big Ten power, Michigan to town next week. That'll be a night game in Iowa City. 

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