Hey, Wha Happen? Penn State 38, Iowa 14

Matthew Holst

You missed the Penn State game against Iowa? Learn all the hilarity in 'Hey, Wha Happen?'

Hooray for coaching. Except for Jesse James and Trevor Williams, all of Penn State's offensive players were on the squad for last year's win over Iowa at Beaver Stadium. And actually, last year's squad included an extra four senior linemen, three starting wide receivers, two starting tight ends, one senior fullback, and one running back. That team eked out 13 points against a weaker Iowa defense, at home.

Bill O'Brien's 2012 squad went on the road to Kinnick Stadium, against a better-than-last-year Iowa defense, and played (almost) flawlessly in scoring 31 points in the first 30 minutes and 27 seconds of the game. And again - nearly all of these players were in Beaver Stadium last year.

Apparently that 'game plan offense' of BO'B's is for real. Bill O'Brien could have gone straight meathead, and played grind-it-out, first mistake loses football against Ferentz. It's been in the Penn State-Iowa Convention for the last 14 years. Look it up.

Instead of pounding his head against the Iowa front seven - like Michigan State did last week - O'Brien thought he saw an advantage against Iowa's back seven. He spread the field, running out 3x1 and 3x2 spread formations (though, still with multiple tight ends), and passed his way to an early 14-0 lead. Matt McGloin finished the first quarter with the following stats: 8 for 12, 144 yards, 2TD's.

On the defensive side, the plan was to stuff the run, mix our coverages while sitting on the short stuff, and make Iowa's senior quarterback James Vandenberg beat us. He couldn't. It didn't even look like a fair fight. Iowa's Hobbled Hebrew Hammer, Mark Weisman, carried just 5 times for 9 yards, all in the first half. Iowa finished with 20 yards rushing (net) for the game, and just 209 total yards. Vandenberg fumbled once and threw two INTs.

Ferentz wanted a repeat of the 2011 game - or any of the contests from the last 14 years. O'Brien wasn't having that. BO'B tries to win on every play, and wow - does he ever coach 'em up.

Three Completely Random, Probably Useless Thoughts

1. It's 31-0. Mauti picks off Vandenberg and returns it to the Iowa 14 yard line. Zach Zwinak fumbles as he crosses the goal line. Bill O'Brien chews out the offense as they come off the field. I think part of O'Brien is happy that he has that play and a handful of others to show on the tape Monday.

2. It's still 31-0. After a failed 4th and Inches from our own 36-yard line, the defense stops Iowa at our own 3. Penn State then drives 97 yards on 14 plays for a touchdown, sucking six and a half minutes off the clock, and the last bit of fight out of Iowa. Penn State finished with 52 rushing attempts for 215 yards. Against Iowa. At Kinnick. At Night. They ran 90 offensive plays for over 500 yards, and held the ball for 38 minutes.

3. Iowa was a 3-point favorite in this game. Hard to believe, isn't it? The last time Iowa took a beat down like this at Kinnick? 2006 vs. #1 Ohio State, who played in the MNC and had Heisman winner Troy Smith at QB.


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