The fifth quarter: The Penn State game

The fifth quarter: The Penn State game

Penn State has won the past three meetings: 13-7 in 2014, 29-7 in 2015 and 45-31 in 2016.

Running backs ruled the college football world in Week 4, as Saquon Barkley led Penn State Nittany Lions to a big win on the road at Iowa Hawkeyes, Auburn's Kerryon Johnson scored five touchdowns, and several freshmen made impacts for their teams.

After rocking Kinnick Stadium for most of the fourth quarter, a hush fell over the 66,205 people in attendance for the Iowa/Penn State game on September 23. Nathan Stanley has thrown for 655 yards and 10 touchdowns this season while Akrum Wadley has run for 258 yards and a score. Just last season, a 9-0 MI ranked No. 3 team got dumped at Iowa. He led PSU with 12 grabs for 94 yards on Saturday night.

McSorley was held without a touchdown pass until the final play, but extended his streak to 19 consecutive games. Even when holes haven't there for Barkley he has simply burned team through the air, hauling in 11 catches for 241 yards and two touchdowns so far. On Saturday in his 27th career start, the senior led the Nittany Lions with six tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. Barkley is the Big Ten's most talented athlete. McSorley took less than three seconds let loose a laser just to the right of the goalposts.

The first half was a particular slog.

"They're going to be looking for him to find that hole and make that one cut and go", Penn State linebacker Manny Bowen said.

Even though the Iowa offense was thoroughly outplayed in the first 30 minutes, the Hawkeyes hung around and took a 7-5 lead into halftime.

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A day after dropping their first match of the year, the #2 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions bounced back, pulling out a hard fought victory over the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes in four sets.

Franklin brought up the topic of Kinnick Stadium's storied pink locker rooms during his weekly news conference of Tuesday, calling it one of the "cooler, historical kind of thing in college football from a tradition standpoint". Penn State will have more challenges to come and opportunities to prove if they deserve to be called great as the season goes on (Michigan, at Ohio State being the two most notable games to come next month.) But they proved they are capable of responding when backed up against the wall.

Penn State's offense in the first half ran almost 30 plays in Iowa territory and had 219 total yards but only three points to show for their effort as the Iowa defense matched the Nittany Lions tackle for tackle. Penn State is also 2-0-1 against the spread in those games, yet it hitting the road for the first time tonight. With 3,090 career rushing yards, he sits in seventh place on Penn State's career rushing yards list.

Iowa has a well-earned reputation for springing major upsets in night games at home, including one in 2008 that ended Penn State's national title hopes.

There's a very good chance the Nittany Lions will head into November remembering how meaningful it was that they found a way to survive in Iowa City.

Then they went out and and racked up 579 total yards of offense, killed themselves with a pair of costly turnovers and committed eight penalties for 90 yards.

The real tests are still to come, but it doesn't look like Penn State's defense is going to be a problem. McSorley connected with Saeed Blacknall on a quick slant to the left for 6 yards and a first down. At this point, we are starting to run out of words to describe Saquon Barkley. When a Penn State spokesperson told him he had just broke the school record for all-purpose yards in a single game, he shook it off with a unique sense of humility you'll only see from him.