Penn State Survives Iowa

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The 4th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0), led by running back Saquon Barkley, face the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0), led by quarterback Nate Stanley, in a Big Ten game of unbeatens on Saturday, September 23, 2017 (9/23/17) at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. There's a right tackle problem, one exposed by athletic, mobile D-ends like Iowa's Anthony Nelson, who appeared to have twice as many as his listed five tackles and one sack.

McSorley was 14 of 25 for 122 yards and one interception in the first half. The sophomore caught the game-winning touchdown and had seven catches. Then they added 160 yards in the fourth quarter.

"I knew when I'd break out and go back in, I'd be gone", Johnson said. Trace McSorley continued a record season, passing for 284 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Michigan State opened the second half with a Matt Coghlin field goal, but Notre Dame answered that field goal and then some with a 9-yard Deon McIntosh touchdown run.

No. 4 Penn State's do-it-all backup has emerged as another option in a loaded offense. The Hawkeyes are just 1-2 against the spread and are an underdog for the first time this season.

"I can not imagine that there's a better player in all of college football", Penn State coach James Franklin said after the game. With 3,090 career rushing yards, he sits in seventh place on Penn State's career rushing yards list.

He said Barkley "is making runs that are impressive and he can catch the ball out of the backfield" and stressed the need to gang-tackle the 230-pound junior.

The Nittany Lions piled up yards - 579 of them - but settled for field goals on two of their five trips into the red zone and didn't score any points on a third journey inside the 20-yard line.

"Night games at Kinnick, they're special, " Iowa center James Daniels said.

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The final drive ensured that a legendary night from Barkley would not be wasted.

It's still a little early for serious Heisman talk - that award is fluid, on a week-to-week basis - but even had Iowa won this game, it didn't take away from what Barkley did and will continue to do for the Nittany Lions.

"We found a way to get a win tonight", Franklin said.

If Iowa can keep Barkley from the end zone they'll greatly improve their chances at the upset, but stopping him doesn't necessarily mean that another Lion won't go off, but it does help a ton.

Barkley's quick first-step punished the Hawkeyes on the edge. For that, they have nobody to thank but Saquon Barkley.

Iowa is by reputation a power-running team, but wasn't quite that in its first three games and wasn't that at all Saturday. The Hawkeyes went for two, but PSU's Troy Apke broke up the pass. He's 13th nationally with 170 all-purpose yards per game, which included a 46-yard catch and run for a touchdown that forced overtime in Iowa's 44-41 win at Iowa State.

The decision to pitch the ball back to Akrum Wadley on a second-and-eight play from the Iowa 3-yard line was weird at best.

Iowa rushed six, and the Nittany Lions picked it up.

The preseason all-American played like one against Penn State. Barkley scored the game-winner on a wheel-route reception out of the backfield, racing past Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.

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