Kinlaw runs for career-high 168 yards and 2 TDs as PSU beats Iowa 27-7.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)—Penn State’s slumbering offense woke up against Iowa.
Anthony Morelli threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, Rodney Kinlaw ran for a career-high 168 yards and two scores and the Penn State defense shut down the Hawkeyes in a 27-7 win Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
After two straight defeats marked by turnovers and red-zone mistakes, a beleaguered offense gained 489 yards and came up big in some key situations for Penn State (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten).
Struggling Iowa (2-4, 0-3) lost its eighth straight conference game.
Maurice Evans sacked Iowa’s Jake Christensen twice, and the Hawkeyes were held scoreless until Trey Stross caught an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Penn State’s offensive line opened up rushing lanes against an Iowa defense that had been one of the best in the Big Ten against the run.
Morelli, a senior battered by critics the last few weeks, came up with clutch throws before throwing two second-half interceptions. He finished 18-of-31.
Morelli connected with Deon Butler for a 37-yard gain on a touch pass over double-coverage down the left sideline on a third-and-14 from his own 29.
Open receiver Chris Bell dropped a potential touchdown pass in the end zone, but Morelli recovered with two more clutch throws.He hit Andrew Quarless for a 14-yard gain on a third down before finding Derrick Williams wide open in the end zone for a 24-yard TD pass to give the Nittany Lions a 10-0 lead with 1:08 left in the first half.
Booed after some early failed drives, Morelli walked to the sidelines showered by cheers. He wagged a finger in the air and shook his fist.
Kevin Kelly booted a career-long 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half, sending the giddy Nittany Lions into the locker room with a 13-0 lead.
It was more than enough cushion for Penn State’s stingy defense.
They stuffed running back Albert Young for 44 yards on 13 carries, though Iowa finally found some success through the air in the fourth quarter.
Stross beat Penn State’s standout quarterback Justin King for a 21-yard gain on a third-down play to the Nittany Lion 25.
Christensen hit Stross on a slant for the 11-yard TD catch with 12:47 left in the fourth quarter to slice Penn State’s lead to 20-7. The quarterback finished 16-of-29 passing for 146 yards.
Iowa’s Charles Godfrey intercepted a Morelli pass on the Nittany Lions’ next drive, but Penn State’s defense held.
Evan Royster had 86 yards on 16 carries for Penn State but appeared to injure his left leg in the third quarter and did not return. Coach Joe Paterno said the injury wasn’t serious.
The Nittany Lions also played without tailback Austin Scott, who did not dress due to an unspecified violation of team rules.