The Iowa Hawkeyes have just had Penn State’s number the last few years.
The Nittany Lions went into Kinnick Stadium and were dominated once again by the Hawkeyes 24-3 to open up Big Ten conference play.
Quarterback Ricky Stanzi was very efficient for the Hawkeyes, going 16-for-22 for 227 yards and a touchdown pass. He added a touchdown run of his own as well.
Iowa dominated this game from the start. The Hawkeyes marched down the field on the opening possession and notched a 20 yard field goal courtesy of Michael Meyer, who replaced the injured Dan Murray.
Running back Adam Robinson rushed for 95 yards in the game and was very tough to bring down. Robinson added 21 yards on just the first drive alone.
The Nittany Lions went three-and-out on their first three drives and found themselves in an early hole. Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos in the back of the end zone to give the Hawkeyes a 10-0 lead.
Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt combined for nine catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. They were clearly Stanzi’s favorite targets all night.
The first half was downright awful for the Nittany Lions on both sides of the ball. The offense couldn’t sustain long drives and the defense couldn’t get off the field.
With 1:52 remaining in the first half, Ricky Stanzi rushed for a one-yard touchdown to give the Hawkeyes a commanding 17-0 advantage.
Freshmen quarterback Robert Bolden was able to run the two-minute drill and drives the Nittany Lions down the field late in the first half. The drive ended with a 25 yard field goal by Colin Wagner. It was set up by a 49 yard completion to receiver Brent Brackett in which he snuck behind the secondary.
Penn State was 0-for-5 on third down conversions in the first half. Bolden couldn’t pick up first downs and that caused the Nittany Lions to be down such a large margin at halftime.
The second half didn’t turn out any better for the Nittany Lions. Defensive back Shaun Prater added a 33 yard interception return for a touchdown to make the score 24-3.
The inept offense was the main concern throughout the game for the Nittany Lions. Bolden could not move his troops down the field at all aside from the drive at the end of the first half.
It was not a good start to Big Ten conference play. Penn State will face Illinois at Beaver Stadium next week. Illinois may be 2-2 but they hung tough with Ohio State this week only losing by 11 points.
The Nittany Lions are really suffering without an experienced quarterback. But maybe Bolden can learn and turn into a great signal caller in a few years and led Penn State to the promised land.