Iowa’s patience paid off in a big way on Saturday night, as the Hawkeyes were able to hold Penn State scoreless for the final 52 minutes of regulation and overtime before eventually winning in double overtime.
The big 12 expansion is the topic of discussion in college football. Iowa used their patience to defeat Penn State and remain undefeated.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KFVS) – Iowa had rehearsed the play throughout the week and was confident in its chances, but it needed to strike at the proper time. The wait was agonizing due to Penn State’s aggressive blitzing defense.
Hawkeyes wide receiver Nico Ragaini remarked, “I was thinking about it the whole game.” “I was hoping Brian Ferentz, the offensive coordinator, would call it.”
Iowa took over at the Nittany Lions’ 44-yard line with 6:35 remaining, down 20-16, after approaching Penn State territory on eight drives but only completing one with a score. Quarterback Spencer Petras looked around at a defense that wasn’t blitzing and realized the moment had arrived.
Iowa won 23-20 when Petras ran play-action, rolled to his right, and passed back across the field to Ragaini, who sprinted to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. The third-ranked Hawkeyes overcame No. 4 Penn State after starting quarterback Sean Clifford departed in the second quarter with an unknown injury.
“It was something we were keeping in the back of our minds for a crucial moment in the game,” Petras said. “We had intended to call it sooner.” It’s simply that those guys had a fantastic game plan. They were swarming us from all sides, making it difficult for me to see what was going on.
“However, it was called at the appropriate moment.”
The game put Iowa’s patience to the test. Only one of Petras’ first nine throw attempts resulted in an interception in the first quarter. With three interceptions in the first half, Iowa’s defense extended their national lead, while the offense only scored three points.
Iowa punter Tory Taylor, a native of Melbourne, Australia, trapped Penn State within its own 20-yard line six times and averaged 44.2 yards per punt in front of supporters wearing T-shirts that say “Punting is Winning” with a map of Australia.
Iowa also took advantage of junior quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson’s limitations after Clifford was hurt.
“For Penn State, it certainly shifted to a rushing attack,” Hawkeyes defensive lineman Logan Lee said. “They were supposed to keep rushing the ball. We were very comfortable just pushing [Roberson] to continue to hurry the ball and creating third-and-long situations.”
However, the offense’s failure to break through a strong and veteran PSU defense that has excelled in the red zone all season kept Iowa in the game until the final seconds.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz stated, “Sometimes you just have to keep playing and hope something, someone ignites you, or something wonderful occurs.” “Teams that can do it, and learn how to do it, have a better chance of succeeding.”
Petras rebounded from a shaky first quarter by completing 16 of 22 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns in the remaining three quarters.
“The most important thing is patience and maintaining a level mind,” Petras added.
Since 1985, when No. 1 Iowa played No. 2 Michigan, Kinnick Stadium has hosted its first AP top-five game. Ferentz acknowledged Iowa fans as being more prepared for the game than his squad, and Hawkeyes fans rushed the field following.
Fans hitting him on the head caused star center Tyler Linderbaum to joke that he “may have a minor concussion,” adding, “Just joking, don’t tell the trainers.”
“I believe I was one of the last ones off, but I wouldn’t give it for the world to be out there, high-fiving with fans,” said safety Jack Koerner. “I’ve always been a Hawks fan, coming to Kinnick Stadium since I was a little child. I’ll never forget high-fiving small kids and shouting, ‘Go Hawks!’ maybe 150 times.”
When the Iowa players and coaches arrived in their locker room, Ferentz got emotional as he addressed the squad.
Ferentz, who broke up multiple times during his postgame press conference, remarked, “I inherited that gene from my old guy.” “This is something we’re all enjoying. We have a good time together and respect each other. It’s a fantastic bargain. I’m not sure how good of a squad we’ll be at that time, but I know we’ll have a great bunch of men.”
Iowa’s trademark defense faltered early, but it added four interceptions to its nation-leading total of 16 through six games. In their past two games, the Hawkeyes have thrown 10 interceptions, including two each by Koerner and defensive back Riley Moss, who exited the game with an injury that Ferentz believes will not be severe.
“We weren’t surprised,” said cornerback Matt Hankins, who had an interception and a critical fourth-down stop in the victory. “It’s the week’s practice, playing zone defense, having eyes on the quarterback, recognizing where the ball is thrown, and being able to break on the ball,” he said.
“It’s simply the same thing over and again.”
Iowa has won 12 straight games dating back to 2020, and is ranked No. 1 for the first time since reaching the Big Ten title game in 2015. Iowa’s perfect season ended with a loss to Michigan State, and the Hawkeyes missed out on their first participation in the College Football Playoff.
Ragaini remarked, “We know we have something unique here.”
The Iowa uses ‘patience’ in comeback victory over Penn State to remain undefeated is an article about the Iowa Hawkeyes football team’s comeback victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions. Reference: did big ten cancel football.
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