By comparison, Penn State had 13 turnovers gained - 10 picks, three fumble recoveries - in 14 games last season. With Iowa bracketing tight end Mike Gesicki, Juwan Johnson showed up with seven catches for 92 yards and obviously the game-winning touchdown.
"For us, opening at Iowa is going to be a challenge, but that's a challenge that we're going to accept", wide receiver Brandon Polk said.
Barkley ran 28 times for 211 yards and a touchdown. His previous career best was 207.
"I thought our defense played unbelievably well", said Penn State head coach James Franklin, "and probably hasn't got enough credit this yet for as well as they're playing".
"That was a Heisman-like performance".
"The logical thing is, you've got to find out what they do really well and you've got to find a way to take it away", he said.
Michigan State opened the second half with a Matt Coghlin field goal, but Notre Dame answered that field goal and then some with a 9-yard Deon McIntosh touchdown run. But on fourth down, McSorley stood strong in the pocket and drilled the ball through a crowded end zone and into Johnson's chest. On that drive, the redshirt junior was 7 of 11 for 68 yards while running for another 12. The Hawkeyes took a four-point lead with 1:42 to play, but quarterback Trace McSorley led the Nittany Lions on a game-winning drive in the nick of time. Iowa is allowing just 19.3 points and 335 yards per game this season. In fact, Barkley proved last night that no team in the NCAA has a back that can compare to his abilities, as he was impervious to all the hexes that afflicted his teammates.
"Just for it to happen, it's insane to dream about", Johnson said. 3 Penn State in 2008.
Catch it, will ya: Brandon Polk dropped a completion that would have sustained a Penn State possession in the second quarter.
Penn State grabbed the lead early in the second half and had multiple chances to increase the margin, but the Iowa defense kept holding them off. In a 21-0 hole early on the road against a tough IL defense, the star-loaded Penn State offense slowly clawed their way back to a victory to preserve their undefeated season and keep Penn State in the driver's seat for the school's first Big Ten championship. Outside of star running back Saquon Barkley, it wasn't always pretty for Penn State on the road. But PSU failed to reach the end zone on two runs and then an incompletion by McSorley, so it settled for a 21-yard field goal by Davis with 10:43 to go in the third. After the media timeout, Holman and Foecke tallied back-to-back kills to make it 17-12 and force a Penn State timeout.
Saquon Barkley is a problem. He intercepted a pass and broke up two others. He connected on every pass he attempted in the first half, tossed just three incompletions on the night, threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns and averaged - averaged - 16.8 yards per attempt. On Saturday in his 27th career start, the senior led the Nittany Lions with six tackles, including 1.5 for a loss.
Stanley has been the lynchpin for a much-improved passing attack for the Hawkeyes. The teams engaged in a sideout battle until Penn State took a 20-19 lead, its first of the set. Barkley scored the game-winner on a wheel-route reception out of the backfield, racing past Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt.