Iowa rolls, Penn State 0-5 for first time
Mekhi Sargent scored two touchdowns and rushed for 101 yards Saturday as visiting Iowa posted a 41-21 victory over Penn State at State College, Pa., leaving the Nittany Lions with the first 0-5 start in school history.
The Hawkeyes (3-2, 3-2 Big Ten) won their third straight game and gave Kirk Ferentz his 100th Big Ten victory. Ferentz became the fourth coach to reach 100 wins in the conference joining Woody Hayes (153), Bo Schembechler (143), and Amos Alonzo Stagg (115).
Sargent had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs as Iowa took a 24-7 lead by halftime by scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter.
Spencer Petras completed 18 of 28 passes for 186 yards and also had a 3-yard scoring run in the third before Iowa fended off a late comeback attempt.
Tyler Goodson added 78 yards had Iowa’s other rushing TD, and Keith Duncan kicked field goals of 40 and 24-yards as Iowa ended a six-game losing streak to Penn State.
The Hawkeyes also won at Penn State for the first time since 2009 and scored their most points against the Nittany Lions since 2002.
Will Levis started for Penn State (0-5 Big Ten) and was 13-of-16 passing for 106 yards before Sean Clifford came in with 4:09 remaining in the third and sparked a comeback attempt. Clifford threw a 28-yard TD to Brenton Strange and a 68-yard strike to Jahan Dotson on his first two attempts to get Penn State within 31-21 entering the fourth but threw two interceptions in the final stanza.
Clifford completed 13 of 22 passes for 174 yards.
Dotson had eight catches for 139 yards but dropped a ball with 2:10 remaining immediately before Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon had a 71-yard interception return to clinch it.
Penn State took a 7-3 lead on Keyvone Lee’s 6-yard TD up the middle with 2:12 left in the first quarter. But Iowa dominated the second quarter and the first half of the third.
Goodson’s 10-yard run run 25 seconds into the second made it 10-7 and following Zach VanValkenburg’s first fumble recovery, Sargent scored his first TD with 6:34 remaining. After Sargent’s second TD with 11 seconds left made it 24-7, Petras scored with 6:45 remaining in the third shortly after VanValkenburg’s second fumble recovery.
–Field Level Media