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No. 10/9 Penn State Wins at No.17/18 Iowa, 17-12

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

Defensive pressure, Cain secure game in fourth quarter

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Relentless pressure from defensive tackle Robert Windsor (Fond Du Lac, Wisc.), a pair of second-half takeaways and big fourth-quarter runs by freshman running back Noah Cain (Baton Rouge, La.)led No. 10/9 Penn State to a 17-12 win over No. 17/18 Iowa Saturday night in Kinnick Stadium.

Penn State improved to 6-0 (3-0 Big Ten) to secure bowl eligibility for the 50th time in program history, while Iowa fell to 4-2 (1-2 Big Ten). The win also marked the Nittany Lions’ first win over a ranked opponent in a true road game since 2013.

The Nittany Lions led 7-6 at halftime and secured the win by adding 10 points on a pair of scores following the two Iowa turnovers. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley connected with wide receiver Brandon Smith with 2:31 remaining for a touchdown to cut the deficit to five, but Cain, who gave Penn State a 17-6 lead with a touchdown with 5:17 remaining, was able to run out the clock with five-straight rushes, including a 5-yard run on third-and-3.

Windsor recorded six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks with two quarterback pressures to lead the Nittany Lion defense. Fellow defensive tackle PJ Mustipher (Owings Mills, Md.) made a career-high seven tackles and forced a fumble that linebacker Jan Johnson (Mohnton, Pa.) recovered in the third quarter, leading to a field goal. In the fourth, Safety Jaquan Brisker (Pittsburgh, Pa.) tallied his first interception as a Nittany Lion, leading to Cain’s game-clinching touchdown.

Cain posted his second 100-yard rushing effort in as many weeks, totaling 102 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, including 15 carries for 67 yards and the touchdown in the fourth quarter alone.

Quarterback Sean Clifford (Cincinnati, Ohio) was limited to 12-of-24 passing for 117 yards and one touchdown, but he added 52 yards on the ground to help the Nittany Lions total 177 yards on the ground. Clifford’s top target was KJ Hamler (Pontiac, Mich.) who caught Clifford’stouchdown pass in the first quarter and finished with seven catches for 61 yards.

How It Happened
Iowa scored first on a Keith Duncan 47-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter. The Nittany Lions found their offensive stride in the second quarter with a 15-play, 85-yard touchdown drive. The Lions converted a trio of third downs on the drive, including a third-and-7 on Hamler’s 22-yard touchdown reception. Hamler ran down the right sideline and hurdled a defender for the score.

Iowa threatened to retake the lead before the halftime break, completing a 36-yard pass to Ihmir Smith-Marsette down to the Penn State 4-yard line, but YeturGross-Matos (Spotsylvania, Va.) and Windsor moved the Hawkeyes back a yard on a running play, and then a pair of incompletions forced them to settle for a field goal.

An Iowa turnover in the third quarter allowed Penn State to extend its lead. Mustipher forced a fumble in the backfield and Johnson recovered it at the Iowa 16. On the ensuing offensive possession, tight end Pat Freiermuth (Merrimac, Mass.) appeared to have a 16-yard touchdown reception, but the ball was spotted at the 1-foot line after an official’s review. Iowa stopped a Penn State run or no gain, and then a pair of holding penalties ultimately stalled forced Penn State to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Iowa-native Jake Pinegar(Ankeny, Iowa). It gave Penn State a 10-6 lead with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Penn State went ahead 17-6 in the fourth quarter following another Iowa turnover. Under pressure from Windsor, Stanley threw an interception to Brisker at the Iowa 39, and Brisker returned it 4 yards to the 35. Cain carried the ball five times on the ensuing drive, finishing it off with a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:17 remaining.

Stanley completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Smith with 2:31 remaining, but Penn State ran out the clock.
Up Next
Penn State returns home to Beaver Stadium for its annual Penn State White Out game, hosting Michigan ina primetime contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

Single-game tickets are available for the 2019 Penn State Football season presented by PSECU. Fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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