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3 & Out Rapid Reaction: Penn State football dominates Iowa 31-0 in White Out game

Penn State football dominated this game from start to finish, getting the massive win in front of the White Out crowd.



Penn State Football, Iowa, Drew Allar, White Out

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The rain came in droves, but it didn’t dampen the White Out festivities, nor did it phase Drew Allar or Penn State football in their first ranked matchup of the season. The No. 7 Nittany Lions (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) took care of business against the No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1). Penn State dominated this game from start to finish, earning the 31-0 win in primetime Saturday night.

We’ll have plenty of thoughts and insights from James Franklin and others as Penn State passes its first major test of the season with flying colors. But here are 3 quick thoughts as we dry out from a soggy White Out in Happy Valley.

Drew Allar bounces back against Iowa

Drew Allar certainly didn’t have a bad performance last week at Illinois. However, he certainly didn’t live up to the flashes he showed in the first two games, either.

But tonight, Allar was back. The sophomore QB started the night a very efficient 9-9 for 60 yards before throwing his first incompletion. Allar brought a fire tonight that we had yet to see from the 19-year-old, but he still remained poised and decisive under pressure.

Allar finished the night going 25-37 for 166 yards and 4 touchdowns. However, one of the most important stats for Allar is the lack of one – the sophomore QB has yet to turn the ball over so far this season. While this is bound to end at some point, Penn State has to be happy with what its seen from its new starter through a third of the season.

Turnovers: Both lucky and good

Penn State football came into the evening ranked No. 3 nationally with a +7 turnover differential. Tonight, the Nittany Lions showed why they are one of the best teams in the nation when it comes to turnovers.

Penn State recovered two early fumbles, including one “right place, right time” fumble recovery by Curtis Jacobs. The Nittany Lions added two more fumble recoveries in the second half. Unlike last week, where they struggled to get 20 points off 5 turnovers, the Nittany Lions made more of their opportunities. The Penn State offense scored 10 points off turnovers in the first half. And in reality, the game was already out of hand by the time the final 2 turnovers occurred.

The Nittany Lions more than benefited from a bit of luck, as well. In addition to its own lucky muffed punt recovery, Penn State narrowly avoided a critical turnover late in the 2nd quarter off a Kaden Saunders muff. Some nights, the ball just bounces your way.

If you’re handing out superlatives tonight, then “Mr. Johnny on the Spot” has to go to LB Curtis Jacobs. Jacobs had 2 fumble recovers tonight, the first Penn State football player to recover 2 fumbles in a half since 1991. He also finished the night with 3 tackles, and 1 TFL.

The defense played lights out in this game. The Nittany Lions kept the Iowa offense off schedule all evening, only allowing the Hawkeyes to run 33 plays for 14 minutes of game time. Penn State finished the night with 3 sacks, 5 TFLs, and only allowed 76 total yards (56 passing and 20 rushing). After getting 2 first downs on the first series of the game, Iowa didn’t move the chains again until there were 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. 

Overall, this one didn’t feel out of hand from the moment Iowa’s opening drive stalled. And the defense deserves a lionshare of the credit for a dominating performance in front of a White Out crowd.

Penn State offensive line rises to the occasion in the White Out

Right or wrong, the Penn State offensive line has taken a lot of heat for its performance early this year. Going against a top 40 run defense nationally, tonight posed the stiffest test for the Nittany Lions in this young season.

Coming out of this White Out game, it’s hard to say the offensive line did anything but deliver. While the Nittany Lions didn’t blow Iowa off the line of scrimmage from the start like we saw earlier this year versus Delaware, the line came up in the most critical spots all night.

Penn State finished the night 4-4 on 4th down. The Penn State offensive line pushed the Hawkeye front back on 3 of the short-yardage conversions, while the other was Drew Allar’s first touchdown of the night to Khalil Dinkins.

Penn State did start to open some running lanes in the second half, finishing the night rushing the ball 57 times for 215 yards. Not shabby for one of the better run defenses it’ll face all year. In the pass game, the Nittany Lions kept Drew Allar clean, not allowing a sack on the evening. James Franklin and company have to feel good about where this unit is going into Big Ten play.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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