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No. 3 Iowa edges No. 4 Penn State 23-20 in Big Ten slugfest

The Hawkeyes recovered from an early deficit to secure the biggest win of the college football season.

Syndication: HawkCentral
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras warms up before a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes continue their special season with a 23-20 victory over No. 4 Penn State. The Nittany Lions led 17-3 at one point but couldn’t muster any offense once Sean Clifford exited the game. Clifford’s injury is not known, and he didn’t return to the contest.

Both teams struggled offensively for large stretches of the game. Spencer Petras found Charlie Jones in the second quarter to make it a 17-10 game at halftime. The teams traded field goals in the third quarter and it looked like Penn State had a chance to close the game with one or two drives. Unfortunately, backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson was unable to command the offense like Clifford.

Petras found Nico Ragiani for the go-ahead touchdown with just over six minutes left in the game and Iowa’s defense made three key stops to hold off Penn State late.

The Hawkeyes remain unbeaten on the season and will get a slight bump after surviving what will be their toughest test as a member of the Big Ten West Division. The Nittany Lions will have to navigate a daunting Big Ten East slate that includes Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. It’ll be a tough task if Clifford is out for an extended period of time.

Iowa closed as a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, and somehow got the cover despite the early deficit.