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.
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.
Week 8 in the Big Ten is chock full of intriguing games. Michigan-Michigan State has arguably been the most talked-about rivalry in the conference over the last five years – from Mike Hart’s “little brother” quip in 2007 all the way through the early-season derogatory comments about Denard Robinson on Twitter by some Michigan State players this season. I can’t wait to get it going Saturday at 3:30 ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners. After seven weeks, it’s Dienhart on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans and three ahead of Yarina. See our Week 8 predictions and choose your winners in this post.
This shapes up as an interesting week, with two key Legends Division clashes on a Big Ten menu that has six games. The headline clash is Nebraska at Northwestern.
Looks like the Iowa running back hex continues. Sophomore sensation Mark Weisman didn’t appear on the depth chart released today by the school. He apparently hurt his right ankle in the Hawkeyes’ 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State last week after running 26 times for 116 yards.
Tired of the running back curse at Iowa? You know, the whole Angry-Iowa-Running-Back-Hating-God thing, affectionately known as AIRBHG? If you weren’t prior to last week, you are now. Mark Weisman, the popular and highly successful walk-on running back, injured his right ankle last week and is not listed on the depth chart for Saturday’s home game vs. Penn State.