By the numbers | Iowa’s victory over Penn State

The Hawkeyes dominated the Nittany Lions on Saturday and the numbers confirm that.


Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Chauncey Golston (57) tackles Penn State Nittany Lions running back Devyn Ford (28) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The Iowa football team dominated Penn State in Beaver Stadium on Saturday on its way to a 41-21 victory.

The Hawkeyes improve to 3-2 on the season after starting the year 0-2.

Iowa’s statistics from Saturday confirm just how badly the team dominated Penn State, and how good the Hawkeyes have been over the past three games.

100 — Big Ten wins for Kirk Ferentz

In Iowa’s fifth game this season, all of them coming against conference opponents, head coach Kirk Ferentz earned the 100th Big Ten win of his head coaching career.

The milestone comes as the third straight victory for Iowa, who started the year 0-2. It also marks the first time the Hawkeyes have defeated Penn State in 10 years.

Ferentz won his first Big Ten game as a head coach just over 20 years ago after he went winless in conference play in 1999.

The Hawkeyes have won at least four Big Ten games in each of their last seven seasons, including eight Big Ten wins in 2015, when they won the Big Ten West title.

90 — points Iowa has outscored its last three opponents by

After two losses to begin the season, the Hawkeyes have found their groove. For three contests in a row, Iowa has thoroughly outplayed its opponents. A 49-7 win over Michigan State, 35-7 victory against Minnesota, and, most recently, a 41-21 defeat of Penn State have vaulted the Hawkeyes into third place in the Big Ten West.

To get those wins, the Black and Gold have relied on an improved running attack and a stout defense that has gotten forced turnovers, including seven interceptions, over the last three weeks. Iowa’s defense has only allowed five scores in that span.

17 — tackles for Nick Niemann vs. Penn State

A large part of the Hawkeyes’ defense in Week 5 was senior linebacker Nick Niemann. The brother of former Hawkeye linebacker Ben Niemann, who now patrols the field for the Kansas City Chiefs, totaled 13 tackles in the first half alone. His career-high of 17 tackles included 11 assisted tackles, six one-man stops, and one tackle for loss.

10 — Years since Iowa beat Penn State

Saturday’s win in Happy Valley marked the end of a long losing streak against the Nittany Lions. Before this year’s contest, Iowa had lost its past six matchups against Penn State and hadn’t beaten the Big Ten East power since before the Big Ten East existed in 2010. Iowa hadn’t won on the road against the Nittany Lions since 2009.

The decade long losing streak included one-possession margins in each of the last three seasons, with the Hawkeyes taking a 17-12 loss under the lights at Kinnick Stadium last year.

Four — Rushing touchdowns against Penn State

The Hawkeyes ran to victory in State College. All four of Iowa’s offensive touchdowns came via the ground game and they came from three different players. Tyler Goodson scored Iowa’s first touchdown of the day from 10 yards out then Mekhi Sargent followed that up with a pair of one-yard plunges to put Iowa on top 24-7.

For the final offensive score of the afternoon, quarterback Spencer Petras channeled his inner Nate Stanley and snuck it into the end zone from three yards out. During the team’s current three-game winning streak, the Hawkeyes have scored 12 rushing touchdowns with an even four in each contest.

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