Nittany Lions win nail biter at Iowa

Sizing up Big Ten football as we (kinda) launch into conference season

Iowa sacked quarterback Trace McSorley four times and recorded 11 tackles for a loss in the game, attacking with constant and effective pressure.

"We are frustrated", Iowa Coach Dave Dilanni said.

The D kept PSU in the game.

The trip to Iowa may have been far more uncomfortable than Penn State would have liked, but it escaped the fate of the 2008 trip to Kinnick Stadium and the fate of Michigan's trip there last November.

After watching Penn State steamroll his Hawkeyes 41-14 previous year, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz knows his team's margin for error will be tiny. And we know well that Iowa has troubles when it comes to the passing game.

Penn State won the Big Ten championship a year ago in large part because of its quick-strike scoring offense. They had two road wins against ranked teams in 2015, when they went undefeated in the regular season. In this one, Johnson made Iowa pay. He didn't touch the ball on the final four plays of the game.

Del Rio, who relieved Feleipe Franks in the second half, completed 9 of 14 passes for 74 yards.

Barkley had an incredible night making Hawkeye tacklers miss with his sensational footwork. A new Penn State record of 358 all-purpose yards.

Through it all, Barkley had the ball in his hands 43 times and looked sharp into the fourth quarter.

Whatever play was called, McSorley appeared to change it once he got the offense set up. "You let go and you let God happen".

McSorley stood strong in the pocket, looked over the middle and tossed a laser between a pair of Iowa defenders.

Trace McSorley made his share of mistakes. If that sounds like a contradiction, it should, because those two angles should not exist in the same football game.

Now, Ferentz is trying to decode Barkley's 85-yard touchdown catch against Georgia State last week and what that might mean for his defense. His previous career best was 207.

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Saquon Barkley ran for a 25-yard touchdown to give Penn State a 29-26 victory over Minnesota previous year.

"That was a Heisman-like performance".

Penn State's Saquon Barkley rushed for a career-high 211 yards and one touchdown. The Hawkeyes hadn't even crossed midfield in the half until that interception and 33-yard return by linebacker Josey Jewell.

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. In addition, he entered the end zone on an impressive showing of footwork. Davis kicked a 21-yard field goal for an 8-7 lead.

"The value of a running back who can catch a lot of passes in the game is huge", Barkley said.

Only Vanderbilt has stingier than Penn State's defense, which has allowed just 4.7 points a game. Albrecht added back-to-back kills for match point, and the Huskers clinched the sweep on her 19th and final kill of the night.

"It's just our mindset and the confidence we have in ourselves", he said.

Penn State had to convert a fourth down and two from their 40-yard line. Then the Nittany Lions have a bye ahead of a two-week stretch that'll define their season, playing MI at home and Ohio State on the road to end October. Survive those two games, and the Nittany Lions will be set up for two monster tilts: vs. MI on October 21 and at Ohio State on October 28. Eleven seconds to play.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (26) is upended by Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa during the first half Saturday in Iowa City. He finished with three catches for 105 yards in the Buckeyes' 54-21 win over UNLV. Iowa smashed, Penn State bashed. Through 45 minutes of play, the Hawkeyes had just 5 first downs and put up only 113 yards of total offense.

Barkley ranks fifth in the Big Ten in both rushing yards (102.3 per game) and receiving yards (80.3), making him the conference's most unsafe player with the ball.

Simone Lee had 15 kills and 13 digs to lead the Nittany Lions.

Moorhead doesn't have to change anything for Stevens if Penn State needs its backup to play his natural position. An 18-yard pass to Juwan Johnson and screen that Barkley turned into a 14-yard gain helped move the ball to the 10.

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