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29 Random Thoughts On The Iowa Shellacking

Domination for the Nittany Lions.

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Let’s put a bow on Penn State’s impressive 31-0 victory over Iowa with some completely random thoughts from the game.

  1. Heading into the game, I would have put the chances at Penn State totaling dominating Iowa pretty low. Not that I was all that worried that the Nittany Lions would lose — I was more concerned with a lookahead Illinois spot than Iowa in the White Out — but I thought the Hawkeyes would be good enough to at least keep it close.
  2. I was wrong.
  3. A college program could do much worse than Cade McNamara for its starting quarterback, but it’s pretty clear he isn’t going to ever elevate your offense. I don’t doubt he’ll end up being solid for the Hawkeyes the rest of the way, but when you have a Brian Ferentz offense to begin with, McNamara isn’t going to be all that different than a guy like Spencer Petras.
  4. It’s January 2024, what is more likely: Brian Ferentz is no longer the offensive coordinator at Iowa or he is Iowa’s head coach? I have a feeling we might see how much power Poppa Ferentz is wielding in Iowa City this offseason.
  5. I said on the postgame show that Chop Robinson was probably Penn State’s best defensive player on Saturday, and now with the benefit of a rewatch, I want to clarify that thought: Chop was *clearly* Penn State’s best defensive player on Saturday night. Only two tackles and one sack according to the box score, but that thing isn’t telling the whole story for how good Chop was.
  6. And yes, I am including his strip sack celebration of mocking Iowa assistant coach Levar Woods in my fantastic grade for him.
  7. On 3rd & 7 with 1:03 left in the second quarter, Penn State lined up with Adisa Isaac and Dani Dennis-Sutton at defensive end and had Chop Robinson standing over the center. Adbul Carter then came on a delayed blitz. The result: a sack and me wanting to give Manny Diaz a wet kiss.
  8. KeAndre Lambert-Smith with maybe his best game as a Nittany Lion? The big plays weren’t necessarily there, but he made the most of the openings he had, to the tune of eight receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Against the likes of Ohio State and Michigan, he’ll need to have similar games.
  9. Hello, Theo Johnson. Tyler Warren and Khalil Dinkins got the glory in the end zone, but Johnson came alive with six receptions for 42 yards. Once again, the Nittany Lions will need him as we hit mid-fall.
  10. I’m not going to complain about putting up 31 points on a good Iowa defense. As James Franklin alluded to after the game, grinding it out with methodical drives that ate up the clock was the way to go. The easiest way to have kept Iowa in that game was giving them short fields, whether off of three-and-outs or turnovers. So other than the slow start which caused two three-and-outs on the first three drives, Penn State played a clean game offensively otherwise.
  11. That being said, this is the last week I will not hit the panic button for the lack of explosive plays. The Nittany Lions are last in the Big Ten in plays of 20+ yards with just nine. Ohio State has 24. Michigan has 21. Freaking Iowa has 14.
  12. That last thought might seem like me just trying to find something to complain about considering Penn State has broken 30 points in all four of its games. But there’s a reason really good teams and coaches (like James Franklin) put such an emphasis on explosive plays. You need them — or, at the very least, show the capability to do it.
  13. “Fresh Legs For The Defense” might get another blurb on Thursday’s “Stock Up” report because Manny Diaz’s crew saw just 33 snaps on the night. You can’t ask for better snap management through September than what the defense had.
  14. What can be said about the Penn State defense that hasn’t already been said? It’s one of the elite units in the country. People will fret about the rush defense until Ohio State and especially Michigan, but 2.7 yards per carry against Illinois and 1.2 YPC against Iowa is proof that it’s quite good despite some of the worry.
  15. Drew Allar is magnificent and I am so happy that he’s a part of my life. If you look at the box score and see 4.5 yards per pass attempt, you wouldn’t necessarily think he had a great game. But for anyone who watched, you saw a kid who was in total command and made throws when he needed to. All four of his touchdown passes came on third or fourth down, which is just beautiful stuff.
  16. Allar currently has +3500 odds to win the Heisman, according to DraftKings. Of course, the big movement would take place if Penn State upends Ohio State in the Shoe, but the two games against Northwestern and UMass will be perfect opportunities for some stat-padding. Give me 7 touchdowns and 550 yards for Drew over those next two games, and we can start to build a true Heisman campaign.
  17. I’ll get a “DA14” tattoo if Drew wins the Heisman this year.
  18. Snap counts will be coming out later today, but I think Vega Ioane is soon to overtake Sal Wormley as the starter at right guard. Ioane’s pass pro still needs some work and he’s still a bit raw in general, but the upside of him as a run blocker might just be needed for the interior of the line.
  19. Wide receiver behind KeAndre Lambert-Smith continues to be a merry-go-round of characters. Harrison Wallace played Saturday night, but his snaps were limited and he was clearly not close to 100%. Smart move might be to give him Northwestern off with the bye week coming up.
  20. It feels like Liam Clifford only catches first downs.
  21. I thought Dante Cephas popped in his lone catch. Corralled it in and made a quick move up the field. Looked very fluid.
  22. Playing time way down for Malik McClain after the two Illinois drops.
  23. For the amount of times I typed “Amin Vanover could start at half the other Big Ten teams” this offseason, it felt good that he notched a sack and a forced fumble against one of the Big Ten teams he’d start for.
  24. I am glad Alex Felkins missed the 43 yarder in the second half. It was a useless field goal and I’d rather he get a miss out of the way.
  25. I believe Iowa’s punter has one more year of eligibility after this season. Dear West Shore Homes...
  26. I want Jay Paterno’s live reaction to seeing this video.
  27. While I am linking to the Twitter, shoutout to Ryan Parsons who covered the game for us and got some great photos and videos down on the sideline. Ryan is proof that we bloggers DO in fact leave our mom’s basements from time to time.
  28. I am surprised that Franklin did not try to run it up more in the fourth. Maybe the wet field had him concerned about player safety so he decided against it, but I thought we would see a Michigan State 2016-esque type performance late. Oh, well.
  29. Lastly, I hope this ding dong brain cried on Saturday night.