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Saturday, November 8, 2008
3Q update: Penn State 23, Iowa 14


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In many ways, the third quarter encapsulated Iowa's season.

The Hawkeyes showed flashes of a team that should be much better than its 5-4 record. And then they showed exactly why they're 5-4.

Quarterback Ricky Stanzi committed two turnovers in his own territory that led to 10 Penn State points in the quarter. Stanzi responded nicely from the first error, an ill-fated pass that Tyrell Sales picked off, and led an impressive 73-yard scoring drive that displayed greater balance. Iowa went to the air and got wideout Derrell Johnson-Koulianos involved.

But with all the momentum on Iowa's side and the green-and-black-clad crowd revved up, Stanzi fumbled a snap and Penn State linebacker Josh Hull pounced on it.

The Lions running game went to work and Derrick Williams continued his splendid afternoon with a 9-yard score after taking the direct snap. The rushing combination of Williams and Evan Royster has overpowered Iowa's talented defensive front.

As it has all season, Penn State made an opponent pay for unforced mistakes. There's a reason Penn State is tied for 14th nationally in turnover margin. This team doesn't beat itself. Iowa does.