Saturday, August 1, 2015

Halftime: Penn State leads Iowa 24-0 at halftime

Penn State stormed onto Kinnick Stadium with zest on offense, bringing a 24-0 lead into halftime.

Halftime: Penn State leads Iowa 24-0 at halftime

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IOWA CITY, IOWA-- Nothing about tonight feels like a typical Iowa-Penn State game. Everything about tonight feels like Bill O'Brien has completely transformed the Nittany Lion program.

Penn State stormed onto Kinnick Stadium with zest on offense, bringing a 24-0 lead into halftime. 

The Hawekeyes -- who have a 28-7 record here at Kinnick Stadium since 2008 -- were shutout in the first half at home for the first time since 2006.

The offensive outburst was especially surprising considering Penn State had not won here since 1999 -- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz's rookie season. But the Lions' woes in Iowa City mean nothing for O'Brien, a rookie coach who brought his pro-style offense to a program desperate for change.

Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin connected with tight end Jesse James on a third-and-seven play in the first quarter for a 31-yard touchdown. Iowa cornerback Greg Castillo, son of recently fired Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, was on the coverage.

Just five minutes later, McGloin found the end zone again. This time it was sophomore wide receiver Allen Robinson with an 9-yard touchdown. Both scoring drives were more than 65 yards and took less than three minutes.

Running back Bill Belton added a 11 yard touchdown while oft-criticized kicker Sam Ficken improved to 4-for-10 on the season with a season-best 34-yard field goal. 

Iowa kicker Mike Meyer, who entered the game as the Big Ten's top kicker, was 0-for-2. He had previously made 13-straight attempts.

At halftime, Penn State accounted for 304 offensive yards. McGloin was 18-for-28 with 196 yards. The Lions' defense held its own, limiting the Hawekeys to just five offensive rushing yards and five first downs.

Penn State limited Iowa to just 1-for-7 on third down attempts.

Iowa had run onto the field before the game to a barrage of fireworks and cheers from the crowd. By the time the Hawkeyes jogged off the field for halftime, the black-and-yellow clad fans booed the home team. 

-Emily Kaplan

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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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