Iowa beats Penn State; Nittany Lions 0-5 for first time

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) passes as Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith (12) pursues during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

OFFENSE - The new QB did OK. Jahan Dotson was again excellent. The first-quarter TD drive was one of the best of the year. But again the offensive line was brutal. Penn State averaged 1.8 yards per rush, yielded five sacks, had four turnovers resulting in 27 Iowa points. Grade: D.

DEFENSE - Penn State has become absurdly easy to run against, especially outside the tackles. Saturday it turned a so-so, first-year starting QB into a capable, efficient QB. Iowa had a modest 361 total yards, so it wasn’t an utter disaster by the current standards. Grasping at straws here, folks. Grade: D.

SPECIAL TEAMS - Dotson showed some juice as a punt returner. Solid outing for punter Jordan Stout. Kick coverage was solid. Lions did not attempt a field goal, but had an extra point blocked. Meh. Grade: C.

COACHING - Penn State remains a team that’s searching for a style of play with no answers, although losing the line of scrimmage week after week obviously has a lot to do with that. Slow starts every week. It’s a team that fails, utterly and consistently, to get out of its own way. At this point, merely acknowledging reality is starting to feel like piling on. Grade: D-minus.