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Nittany Lions' rally falls short in overtime

9/29/2002

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- After blowing a 22-point
fourth-quarter lead, Iowa settled down during an overtime that must
have felt oddly familiar.

C.J. Jones caught a 6-yard touchdown pass in the extra period,
and Penn State's fourth-down pass fell incomplete as the Hawkeyes
(4-1) upset the 12-ranked Nittany Lions 42-35 Saturday.

In the Big Ten opener for both teams, Brad Banks passed for 261
yards to lead Iowa (4-1), and his throw to Jones in the overtime
was his fourth touchdown pass.

After the game, Penn State coach Joe Paterno ran over to an
official and grabbed him by the shoulder. It wasn't immediately
clear which call Paterno was angry about.

It was just the second overtime game for both teams, with the
first coming against each other two years ago. In that game, the
Hawkeyes kicked a field goal in the second OT, then intercepted a
pass from Rashard Casey to win it 26-23.

"We were hoping our defense would hold Penn State, and they
were able to come together and win it for us,'' Fred Russell said.
"It felt like it did two years ago, when we won it in overtime
here.''

The difference this time was that Iowa had it wrapped up until
Penn State (3-1) staged a frantic comeback in the last 7½ minutes
of regulation.

Penn State's defense started the comeback when Bryan Scott
intercepted a pass in the end zone that could have put the game
away for Iowa. Jovon Johnson intercepted it right back for Iowa and
returned it to the Penn State 1-yard line, but Michael Haynes
forced Russell to fumble on the next play.

"If we protect the ball a little better in the second half,
it's probably not as exciting,'' Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Zack Mills completed 23 of 44 passes for a school-record 399
yards. Three of his four touchdown passes came in the fourth
quarter to three different players named Johnson: 36 yards to
Larry, 44 yards to Tony -- followed by a 2-point conversion run by
Chris Ganter -- and 8 yards to Bryant. That tied it at 35 with 1:20
left.

Penn State wasn't nearly effective on its OT possession,
however. On second-and-8 from the 9-yard line, Mills threw to Tony
Johnson 2 yards out on the left sideline, but Johnson was ruled out
of bounds. Two plays later, Mills' final pass attempt hit one of
his offensive linemen and fell to the ground to end the game.

"We made some mistakes'' in the fourth quarter, Iowa defensive
back Bob Sanders said. "But we corrected those and ended up doing
the job.''

Bryant Johnson had eight catches for 146 yards and two
touchdowns, and Tony Johnson had four catches for 111 yards and one
score.

But until the fourth quarter, Penn State's offense was anemic.
The Nittany Lions finished with just 54 yards rushing, and Michael
Robinson -- the backup quarterback who scored five touchdowns on 12
carries in Penn State's last two games -- had minus-2 yards on four
carries.

Mills said his final pass also was intended for Robinson.

"He was the guy I was supposed to go to,'' Mills said. "I
didn't make the right read. It was my fault.''

Iowa has won three straight against Penn State and four of the
last five, and Iowa is just the third school to beat a
Paterno-coached team three years in a row. Alabama (1987-89) and
Michigan (1997-2001) also did it.

Banks threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Brown on the
right sideline to give Iowa a 35-13 lead with 7:03 left in the
third quarter, Iowa's last score in regulation. Brown finished with
100 yards on four catches, and Russell had 142 yards on 35 carries.

Banks' 22-yard touchdown pass to Ed Hinkel gave the Hawkeyes a
23-0 lead with 6:04 left in the first half, but Derek Wake blocked
Nate Kaeding's PAT try, ending Kaeding's school-record streak at
60.

Kaeding did have a 55-yard field goal, which bounced off the
left upright and fell through as time expired in the first half,
giving the Hawkeyes a 26-7 lead. It was the longest of Kaeding's
career and his 13th consecutive field goal, a school record.

Shawn Mayer's interception, and long passes to Tony Johnson and
Bryant Johnson, set up Larry Johnson's 1-yard touchdown run, making
it 26-13 early in the third quarter. But Robbie Gould's PAT try was
blocked, and D.J. Johnson ran the ball back 99 yards for 2 points.