IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Juwan Johnson caught a seven-yard TD pass as time expired and fourth-ranked Penn State rallied to stun Iowa 21-19 Saturday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Saquon Barkley had 211 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving for the Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0), who outgained Iowa 579-273 but nearly blew a game that could’ve been crippling to their postseason hopes.
Akrum Wadley had a 70-yard TD reception midway through the fourth quarter and a 35-yard touchdown run with 1:42 left to put the Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1) ahead 19-15.
Penn State went 80 yards on 12 plays to close out the game, and Trace McSorley found Johnson in a crowded end zone on fourth down.
McSorley finished with 284 yards passing on 48 tries.
Wadley had 80 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving and Nate Stanley threw for 191 yards and two TDs for Iowa.
Penn State: Michigan came into Iowa City in a similar spot a year ago and lost 14-13, so the Nittany Lions should be happy they avoided a loss that would’ve erased their margin of error as far as the playoffs were concerned. Barkley was unstoppable and Penn State’s defense was brilliant. But the Nittany Lions didn’t do a ton in the passing game until the final drive — when McSorley’s final pass was right on the money.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ defense, led by preseason All-American linebacker Josey Jewell, played its heart out. Wadley then put Iowa in position to make a major statement nationally, but the Nittany Lions simply made one more play than they did.
Penn State hosts Indiana on Saturday.
Iowa plays at Michigan State next weekend.
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