Three most disappointing performances from Penn State

Three most disappointing performances from Penn State

No. 17 Penn State overcame a sloppy start and held on to beat No. 18 Iowa, 30-24, in a wild game on a rainy Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State needs a strong showing this week in order to get back on track and ease the tensions of the fanbase. Throw in the Week 1 fourth-quarter collapse that saw Penn State have to fight its way into overtime with Appalachian State, and even the home field has not been a decisive advantage for the Nittany Lions this season. Penn State gave up two safeties on punts (one blocked, one snap botched) before halftime, Iowa scored on a trick play in the first quarter, PSU quarterback Trace McSorley was injured in the second quarter (only to return after missing two series), Iowa had a clutch pick-six in the fourth quarter, and neither team averaged more than 4.9 yards per play. The Hawkeyes were eyeing the end zone on the Nittany Lions' 3-yard line, and then Nick Scott happened.

After an injury late in the second quarter took McSorley out of play for a few series, Penn State got a taste of what play could be like without its illusive quarterback - and it wasn't very bad.

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Geno Stone returned a McSorley interception 24 yards to the house to cut Penn State's lead to three with 10 minutes to go, but less than two minutes later, Pinegar converted a 44-yard kick to make it 30-24. McSorley completed 11 of his 25 passes for 167 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 18 yards on five carries and the first-half touchdown. The score extended the Iowa lead to 12-0.

On a melancholy, damp day that just missed the calendar qualification for Guns 'N Roses "November Rain", Iowa's football team at times was as brilliant as the song's high-arcing crescendo and as dreary as the overall message. Meanwhile, Penn State was building its lead, until the defense struck again. Despite running back Mekhi Sargent finding quite a bit of success running up the middle, the Hawks kept going for the outside runs resulting in loss of yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C. At this point, their erratic play is expected.

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