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Halftime Thoughts: Penn State 17, Iowa 17

It’s somehow been uglier than we expected, but this game is tied at the half. Here are our thoughts.

  • Special teams have been an absolute disaster all afternoon. A dropped snap resulted in one safety, and a bad snap on punts led to a second. Iowa’s only touchdown came on a fake field goal attempt to a defensive end. This has been a problem for Phil Galiano’s units all season and it just has not gotten better.
  • Trace McSorley has had himself a rough day at the office. The senior is 5-for-11 with 61 yards and touchdown pass to Pat Freiermuth. He went down with a lower-body injury earlier in the second quarter. He did return for a drive, only to be replaced by Stevens again on the final drive of the half. 
  • In his absence, Tommy Stevens found the end zone from three yards out. It was great to see him get involved. 
  • Stevens’ touchdown was set up by a massive interception return by John Reid that ended at the Hawkeye three. It’s been a long road back for Reid, and he’s looked like his old self the past few games.
  • The secondary as a whole has played pretty well, holding Nate Stanley to 6-for-17, 71 yards and that one interception. 
  • Jahan Dotson has arguably been Penn State’s best offensive weapon. The freshman has just two catches, but one was a huge fourth-down conversion to keep the Freiermuth scoring drive alive.
  • The Nittany Lions continue to shoot themselves in the foot with stupid penalties. They’ve been called for six penalties for 47 yards, two of which have kept drives alive.
  • Ricky Rahne’s play calling on third down has been abysmal. The offense is a measly 1-for-7 on third down, with their lone conversion being a successful quarterback draw on third and nine.
  • Penn State continues to be the least lucky teams in terms of recovering fumbles. There have been three prime opportunities for the Nittany Lions to fall on a loose football but just cannot seem to get it right.
  • Somehow, this is game is tied. Somehow, the score of this game looks pretty normal. This has been the most Penn State-Iowa game there ever was and your guess is good as mine as to how the second half will shake out.

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