Late pick preserves victory
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Nick Scott intercepted a pass to thwart Iowa at the Penn State 2 with 3 minutes, 18 seconds left and the No. 17 Nittany Lions held on to avoid a third straight home loss with a 30-24 win Saturday over the No. 18 Hawkeyes.
Penn State (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) needed one last defensive stand to hold off Iowa (6-2, 3-2), which got to the Nittany Lions 44 with less than a minute left.
On fourth-and-10 with 7 seconds left, Penn State’s pass rush swarmed Nate Stanley, who flipped backward to offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. The 300pounder rumbled 15 yards before being dragged down with no time left.
It was a fitting end to an odd game with little sustained offense. Iowa scored on two safeties and a touchdown pass by punter Colten Rastetter to defensive tackle Sam Brincks on a faked field goal in the first half. Penn State played three series in the second quarter without starting quarterback Trace McSorley.
McSorley was sandwiched by two Hawkeyes defenders as he tried to scramble and stayed down, grabbing his right leg. The Beaver Stadium crowd fell silent as athletic trainers attended to the senior. He got up with assistance and had help to take a few steps before walking off on his own with a limp. The 6-foot, 202-pound McSorley has started 35 straight games for Penn State since the start of the 2016 season.
McSorley began the second half and broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run.