|ESPN.com: NCF Nation||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Forget about style points. Today might be all about survival for No. 3 Penn State.
The Nittany Lions weathered a terrible start and appear to be finding their rhythm in a run-heavy offense. Penn State surprisingly came out passing and paid a heavy price, as Iowa's defensive line swarmed Daryll Clark and forced a fumble that the Lions recovered at their own 1-yard line. Iowa capitalized on extremely favorable field position and fed star running back Shonn Greene for a touchdown just minutes into the game.
But Penn State rebounded, thanks to a re-commitment to the run game. The Lions mounted a seemingly endless drive (9 minutes, 43 seconds) that ended in a field goal and are on the move again. Sophomore Evan Royster is hurting Iowa both up the middle and on the edges, and wideout Derrick Williams is taking some direct snaps in a Wildcat-like offense. Iowa's defensive line has come to play, especially Adrian Clayborn and Mitch King, but Penn State is moving the ball well. Royster's ability to run between the tackles is unexpected.
This is turning into a nice matchup of running backs between Royster and Greene, but Iowa needs to generate more of a passing attack to hang around.