STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Sitting in the locker room at halftime, Penn State’s defensive ends agreed they were onto something.

Having suffocated Iowa to that point, the Nittany Lions were confident they could keep it up.

“We felt like it should be a shutout,” defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton said.

Mission accomplished.

Drew Allar threw four touchdown passes and Penn State’s defense forced four turnovers to lead the seventh-ranked Nittany Lions past No. 24 Iowa 31-0 on Saturday night.

Tyler Warren caught two touchdowns and Khalil Dinkins and KeAndre Lambert-Smith each caught one for the Nittany Lions (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who possessed the ball for more than 42 minutes.

“We put a priority on athleticism,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “There’s probably a few bigger defenses, but we are athletic and we are quick and we are explosive and we’re playing more consistent, gap-sound defense.”

A cold mist settled over the stadium midway through the first half. The soggy weather didn’t deter the 110,830 fans - nearly all of them dressed in white - from bouncing up and down, rumbling the bleachers in response to every defensive play.

And they had plenty to be excited about.

Linebacker Curtis Jacobs recovered two fumbles and Adisa Isaac and Zuriah Fisher each grabbed loose balls for a defense that allowed just 76 total yards.

Penn State shut out an opponent ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since blanking No. 18 Texas A&M 24-0 in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 28, 1999.

“I think this was a good thing for us because we already knew what we were capable of and then we showed it,” defensive end Chop Robinson said.

With Iowa driving in Penn State territory on its second possession, defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton jarred the ball loose from tight end Erick All. Jacobs jumped on it to spoil what turned out to be the Hawkeyes’ best chance of scoring.

Allar turned the mistake into a 17-play scoring drive that ended with a 46-yard field goal by Alex Felkins.

Jacobs made another heads-up play minutes later when a Penn State punt caromed off Iowa’s Mason Stahl. Jacobs fell on the live ball, and Allar hit Dinkins 10 plays later on a short crossing pattern in the end zone for a 9-yard score to make it 10-0.

The Nittany Lions held the ball for more than 21 minutes in the first half and continued to eat clock when they got the ball to start the third. They drove 75 yards in 6:40 and went up 17-0 on a short cross-body throw from Allar to Warren for a 2-yard score. Allar hit Warren for a 7-yard touchdown later in the third.

Iowa turned it over on its very next play when Robinson flew around the Iowa line and stripped the ball from quarterback Cade McNamara. Isaac recovered it and Allar hit Lambert-Smith on another short end-zone route eight plays later - this one a 3-yard score - to make it 31-0.


Iowa only had four first downs to Penn State’s 27.

McNamara was 5 of 14 for 42 yards. He was sacked three times and hurried six more.

“I can promise you that we will be motivated for the rest of the season, but we have to get better after today,” McNamara said. “This is the worst feeling in the world. I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever felt this bad about a game let alone a day in my life.”


Iowa: The Hawkeyes were short-handed on offense without their top offensive weapon, tight end Luke Lachey, and two of their top three rushers. Lachey is out for the season.

Penn State: Manny Diaz’s defense is the real deal. It seemed to improve as the game progressed. Robinson, Isaac, Jacobs and Dennis-Sutton were forces all night while running backs Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton continue to show they’re capable of getting hard inside yards to wear defenses down.


Iowa hosts Michigan State (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) next Saturday.

Penn State visits Northwestern (2-2, 1-1 Big Ten) next Saturday.


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