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College Football: Iowa defeats Penn State, 41-21

This news story was published on November 21, 2020.
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Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Jack Heflin (96) sacks Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Will Levis (7) Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA. (Brian Ray/

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Iowa (3‐2, 3‐2) defeated Penn State (0‐5, 0‐5), 41‐21 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. The 20‐point margin of victory is Iowa’s largest in series history at Penn State.

Kirk Ferentz now has 100 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach, the fourth most of any coach in Big Ten Conference history. He joins Woody Hayes (153), Bo Schembechler (143) and Amos Alonzo Stagg (115) in the 100 Win Club.


LB Nick Niemann had a career‐high 17 tackles, the most by a Hawkeye since Anthony Hitchens had 19 tackles against Iowa State in 2012. He had 13 tackles in the first half. He is the third Hawkeye this season to register at least 13 tackles in a single game (Koerner 13 vs. Purdue; Benson 13 vs. Northwestern). The last time Iowa had three different players record at least 13 tackles in a single game in the same season was 2015 (Cole Fisher, Josey Jewell, Jordan Lomax).

DL Zach VanValkenburg recovered two fumbles today. Iowa scored touchdowns on both possessions following the turnover. VanValkenburg has three fumble recoveries this season.

DE Chauncey Golston recorded an interception in the fourth‐quarter, his first of the season and the third of his career.

DT Daviyon Nixon recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. The 71 yard return ties for the 14th longest in program history. Iowa has two interceptions returned for a touchdown this season, and at least one pick‐six in 13 consecutive seasons, and at least one interception returned for a touchdown in 18 of the last 20 seasons.

Iowa Hawkeyes running back Tyler Goodson (15) scores against the Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA. (Brian Ray/

RB Mekhi Sargent rushed 15 times for 101 yards, his first 100‐yard rushing game of the season and the third of his career.

RB Mekhi Sargent had two 1‐yard rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. It is his fifth career multi‐touchdown game. He has six rushing touchdowns this season (1, 2, 6, 14, 1, 1), and five in the last three games. Sargent has 20 career touchdowns (19 rush, 1 receiving). He is the 17th player in program history to score 20 or more career touchdowns.

K Keith Duncan scored 11 points to raise his career total to 221, sixth most in program history.

RB Tyler Goodson had a 10‐yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Goodson has started the last nine games at running back and has 10 rushing touchdowns during that stretch.


Iowa had two interceptions today. The Hawkeyes have at least one interception in 12 straight games. They have 17 interceptions during that stretch. The last time Iowa had a stretch of at least 12 games with an interception was 2008, when the Hawkeyes intercepted a pass in each of the 13 games.

Iowa scored 24 points on four takeaways.
The Hawkeyes are averaging 33.0 points per game, their highest total since 2002 (36.5). Iowa has held leads of at least 17 points in each of the last four games.
Iowa had a season‐high 24 first downs.

The win is Iowa’s first against Penn State since 2010 (six games). Iowa allowed only 62 yards rushing in the game, its fewest against the Nittany Lions since that win in 2010 (54 yards). Iowa had allowed 232.5 rushing yards per game during the six‐game skid against Penn State.

Iowa has scored 30‐plus points in three straight Big Ten Conference games for the first time since 2015 (5 games). Iowa had four rushing touchdowns in each of the last three games.

Today was the third time in 30 series meetings Iowa scored 30 or more points (42 in 1983 and 42 in 2002).

Kirk Ferentz won his 165th game as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Ferentz is one of five coaches in Big Ten Conference history to win at least 150 games as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The top five includes Woody Hayes (202), Amos Alonzo Stagg (199), Bo Schembechler (194), Kirk Ferentz (165) and Joe Paterno (162).

Penn State won the toss and elected to receive. The Hawkeyes have played 271 games under head coach Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has opened the game on offense 204 times (129‐75). The Hawkeyes have opened the game on defense 67 times (36‐31).


1) Sam LaPorta touchdown reception (reversed, short of goal line)


The Hawkeyes host Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 27 at Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. (CT). The game is televised on FOX.


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