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Hawkeye winning streak snapped

Posted on 08. Oct, 2011 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It had the feel of past meetings between Iowa and Penn State, but it was the Nittany Lions making big plays late.

Three fourth-quarter turnovers prevented Iowa from completing another comeback against Penn State, as the Hawkeyes fell to the Nittany Lions, 13-3, at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. Penn State climbed to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten with the victory. Meanwhile, Iowa fell to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play.

This also marked the first time since 2007 that Iowa had lost a game by more than seven points (Western Michigan) and lost a game by double-digits (Purdue).

“After losing, only scoring three points, I can’t describe it,” sophomore running back Marcus Coker said.

Following an Iowa punt on its opening series, Penn State proceeded to march 88 yards down field with Rob Bolden under center before being forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal to go ahead 3-0. Iowa would respond back with a 72-yard scoring drive of its own capped by a 23-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Mike Meyer.

But from there, the offense struggled to get anything going. The longest drive Iowa would put together the rest of the game was a nine-play, 43-yard drive in the third quarter that ended with an Eric Guthrie punt.

Penn State would take a 6-3 lead with another 20-yard field goal from kicker Anthony Fera, and that would remain the score until the fourth quarter when junior quarterback James Vandenberg was sacked and lost a fumble shortly after junior cornerback Micah Hyde intercepted a red zone pass by Matt McGloin.

“It felt like the whole game, we were never really in sync,” Vandenberg said. “That started with me, and we still have to get a little more consistent and make plays when they’re there.”

The Nittany Lions would finally capitalize off that turnover with its lone touchdown of the game, a McGloin pass to tight end Andrew Szczerba that came after 10 straight run calls.

The running game was a big part of Penn State’s offensive success. Running back Silas Redd finished the game with 142 yards rushing on 28 carries and as a team, the Nittany Lions rushed for 231 yards on 46 carries.

“We didn’t execute and we let them get away from us a couple of times,” sophomore linebacker James Morris said following a 12-tackle performance. “Against a team like Penn State, when they played the way they did today, it’s hard to win when you let them get away with stuff like that.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say we let them do anything. It was a real physical game and you saw that up until the fourth quarter. Both teams were bending and both teams were pushing, and unfortunately, we broke.”

On Iowa’s next two drives, Vandenberg threw back-to-back interceptions that sealed the defeat. He finished the game completing 17-of-34 passes for a season-low 169 yards.

Looking ahead, Iowa has the luxury now of playing four of its next five games at Kinnick Stadium, with the first of two straight home contests coming Oct. 15 against Northwestern. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central, and the game will be aired nationally on the Big Ten Network.

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