Saturday, September 26, 2009
Special teams puts Hawkeyes in front
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- You just knew Adrian Clayborn would put his mark on this game one way or another.
The Iowa defensive end had a huge game in last year's win against Penn State, and he came off a dominant performance against Arizona a week ago. But for three quarters, Iowa's other defensive end, Broderick Binns, had stolen the show.
Thank goodness for special teams. Clayborn blew up Nick Sukay, blocked Jeremy Boone's punt, collected the ball on two hops and raced 52 yards to the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. It marked Iowa's first blocked punt for a touchdown since the 2005 Capital One Bowl against LSU. Boone never had a punt blocked before, while Clayborn blocked a field goal attempt as a freshman.
Sukay has had a rough night on special teams. He also had a roughing the punter penalty that prolonged an Iowa drive in the first half.
Iowa's offense has done absolutely nothing to deserve the win, but Norm Parker's defense has carried the day. Ricky Stanzi should take Clayborn, Binns and the defensive line out to dinner if the Hawkeyes hold on.
You know this score (11-10) reminds Penn State fans of the 6-4 Iowa win in 2004.