Penn State got off to a messy start to the game and lost starting quarterback Trace McSorley to an apparent leg injury early in the second quarter for a brief period of time. All things considered, being tied Iowa at home 17-17 could have been worse. The Hawkeyes have scored two safeties on special teams and had a punter throw a touchdown pass to a defensive lineman as the Hawkeyes are trying to scratch out a key road win.
Penn State punter Blake Gillkin failed to get a hold of the football on the fourth play of the game and had his scrambling punt attempt blocked. The ball sailed back toward the end zone behind Gillikin and wiggled out of bounds for a quick 2-0 Iowa lead, and the Hawkeyes added a field goal on their first offensive possession minutes later.
With Penn State’s offense having trouble getting anything going, Iowa would keep the scoring going in an unorthodox fashion. On fourth down, Iowa tried their luck with a trick play to keep Penn State guessing and it paid off with punter and holder Colten Rasetetter completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to defensive tackle Sam Brincks.
Down 12-0, Penn State answered the call with a solid offensive drive. Trace Mcsorley completed a fourth-down pass to Jahan Dotson for a gain of 18 when they needed three form the Iowa 33-yard line, and one play later McSorley capped the 10-play, 85-yard drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth in the back of the end zone to get the Nittany Lions on the board before the close of the first quarter.
McSorley was knocked out of the game early in the second quarter at the end of a run. Tommy Stevens took over the offense at quarterback an led the Nittany Lions to a game-tying touchdown on a short one-play three-yard possession following a big interception return by John Reid. Mcsorley headed to the locker room before the end of the half, even though Penn State got the ball back on offense for one last drive. We’ll see what his status is for the second half.
Get ready for a messy second half. It wouldn’t be Penn State vs. Iowa if it wasn’t.