(Saturday, October 2nd)
Final Score: (17) Iowa 24, (22) Penn State 3
Iowa City, IA (Sports Network) - Ricky Stanzi played game-manager in passing and rushing for a touchdown, while the Hawkeyes defense clamped down in key situations to give No. 17 Iowa a 24-3 win over 22nd-ranked Penn State in the Big Ten opener for both schools at Kinnick Stadium.
Stanzi hit on 16-of-22 throws for 227 yards, while Adam Robinson helped carry the load with 28 carries for 95 yards for the Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who defeated the Nits for a fourth straight time at home and in eight of the last nine meetings overall.
"There is no room for having that mentality (being favored) against a team like Penn State, especially with the way they are coached and how consistent they are each year," said Stanzi. "It's about how well we can prepare for each team. We did what we had to do and we got the win."
Rob Bolden completed 20-of-37 passes for 212 yards with an interception for Penn State. He was also stuffed on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line on the Lions' opening drive of the second half.
Evan Royster was held to 56 yards rushing and the offense to 301 total yards for the Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-1), who last won at Kinnick Stadium in 1999.
PSU was a perfect 4-0 in conference road contests last year and had prevailed in seven of eight such matchups since the start of 2008.
Iowa dominated the first quarter, and despite a Stanzi interception, the hosts emerged with a 10-0 lead.
Michael Meyer kicked a 20-yard field goal to cap an opening 10-play, 77-yard drive for the Hawkeyes.
Penn State went three-and-out on its first two possessions, the second off of Stanzi's pick, and Iowa drove back down the field 51 yards for a score. Stanzi's nine-yard TD strike to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos allowed for a 10-0 advantage with a minute to go in the quarter.
Stanzi directed an efficient 68-yard drive in eight plays, taking it in himself from the one for a 17-0 lead with 1:41 remaining in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes' defense forced the Nittany Lions to punt it away on each of their first five series before the visitors cracked the scoreboard on the final play of the half.
Penn State had just two yards of offense a short time into the second quarter and failed to reach Iowa territory until close to midway through the frame.
The Lions' offense finally got on track for a 76-yard drive with time winding down, thanks to a 49-yard completion to Brett Brackett down to the Iowa two- yard line.
The Lions had a chance to run at least two plays from there, but an incompletion was followed by a false start on Bolden and Collin Wagner had to kick a 25-yard field goal as time expired.
Penn State looked to keep the momentum going to start the second half, taking it 70 yards in 14 plays. The visitors were set up with a fresh set of downs at the Iowa 10, but Bolden was tackled just before the goal line on a fourth- down run to turn it back over to the Hawkeyes.
"When I hit him, I hit him in front of the goal line, so I didn't know if he (Bolden) got the ball stretched out or not. I just tripped him up at the last second and made the play," Iowa defensive tackle Christian Ballard said of the key stop that was upheld after a review. "Whenever you stop a team like Penn State...it's a big momentum boost. The offense can feed off that, and the defense can feed off it. It was really important that we got that stop."
Iowa's defense buckled down from there, forcing punts in short order on the next four PSU possessions stretching deep into the fourth quarter.
On the sixth Penn State series of the second half, Bolden was picked off on the first play and Shaun Prater took it back 33 yards for a touchdown to seal the outcome with 1:27 left to play.
Iowa has won 19 of its last 22 games overall and 47 of 56 at home since the start of the 2002 season...The Hawkeyes moved in front 12-11 in the all-time series...Penn State fell to 7-5 at Kinnick Stadium...Iowa came in leading the nation in total defense, allowing just 227.5 yards per game and 3.92 yards per play. The Hawkeyes were also tied for fifth nationally in scoring defense (12.00 ppg)...Penn State had 301 yards of offense compared with 349 for Iowa...The Lions were 3-of-13 on third down. The Hawkeyes also struggled in that department with a 2-for-10 showing...Royster passed D.J. Dozier (3,227) to move into fifth all-time on PSU's career rushing charts.
10/03 02:27:55 ET