Throughout Saturday’s Big Ten football action, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions from every Big Ten game. See his immediate thoughts from Penn State’s easy road victory at Iowa in this post.
Bill Belton ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns and surging Penn State throttled Iowa 38-14 on Saturday night for its fifth straight win. Matt McGloin threw for 289 yards and a pair of TDs for the Nittany Lions, who beat the Hawkeyes in Iowa City for the first time in 13 years.
Penn State is in the driver’s seat as it leads Iowa 31-0 after the third quarter. The Nittany Lions threw for 76 yards during the quarter. Penn State opened up the lead, 31-0, after Bill Belton pounded in a three-yard touchdown run to end a two-play, 45-yard drive. The key play on the Nittany Lions’ drive was Matt McGloin’s 42-yard pass.
Penn State’s defensive line went crazy in the second, penetrating Iowa’s backfield so often that the Hawkeyes finished with negative rushing yardage, at minus-13 yards, and the Nittany Lions now lead 24-0. Penn State made its lead 17-0 when Sam Ficken kicked a 33-yard field goal on the last play of a 12-play, 64-yard drive.
It’s an overstatement to say this was the most important game of the Bo Pelini era. But it certainly was the biggest of this season.
Penn State aired it out to the tune of 132 passing yards in the quarter, and the Nittany Lions lead 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Penn State got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a nine-play, 84-yard drive that ended in a score when Matt McGloin and Jesse James combined for a 31-yard touchdown.
Taylor Martinez threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Nebraska rallied to beat Northwestern 29-28 on Saturday. The Cornhuskers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rallied from 12 down in the fourth, taking a one-point lead when Martinez hit Ben Cotton with a 7-yard pass with just over 2 minutes left, and hung on when a 53-yard field goal attempt by Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien barely missed wide right with 1:10 remaining.