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Saquon Barkley Slayed The Demons of Kinnick Stadium

26 September 2017

Penn State won the Big Ten championship a year ago in large part because of its quick-strike scoring offense.

There were a couple of reasons. The ticket price of $95 was the highest in Iowa history. But truth be told, I'm such a big believer in the offense, in Barkley and in Moorhead to conclude that the impressive numbers we saw Saturday will lead to a lot of huge point totals and easy wins from here on out. It was a gutty throw by McSorley, who was off his game on this night.

They missed a chance to be part of another of those wildly electric, Kinnick Stadium prime-time specials.

Pry your eyes away from Saquon's 358 all-purpose yards and Penn State's dazzling walk-off drive to defeat Iowa 21-19 on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Just look at the stat sheet.

Rather than run out the clock and pull a repeat of 2008 with a game-winning kick, Iowa scored too fast when it took lead, as Akrum Wadley broke off a 35-yard touchdown run with 1:42 left, after the Hawkeyes blocked a field goal on the other end.

They could have seen a team get outgained 579-273 and nearly win the game. Penn State will not want to put this game in the trenches or this will look a lot like Michigan's trip to Kinnick Stadium when they lost 14-13, ruining their flawless season.

Nittany Lions coach James Franklin will bring a talent-rich team to Iowa tonight, pairing an aggressive defense with an offense led by a veteran quarterback in Trace McSorley and a pair of preseason all-Americans in running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Mike Gesicki. Barkley looks faster than a speeding bullet and in at least one instance leaped over a lunging cornerback in a single bound. Until the drama of the final few minutes, he stole the show, even if Penn State's miscues - including an interception late in the second quarter that set up an Iowa touchdown - and struggles in the red zone kept the game close for the duration. Stanley completed 13 of 22 passes for 191 yards and two scores.

Countless times on Saturday night it felt like millions of people were sitting in their living room watching someone play a video game. "The reality is we have a lot of players that weren't - that are playing for us now that weren't on the field". The recently retired Minnesota Vikings linebacker waved his cap exuberantly and exhorted the crowd.

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Penn State guard Brendan Mahon, who sat out Saturday's game with an undisclosed injury, will be back in action this week, Franklin said.

We all thought we had seen this game before. You could see the determination even if you were in the 57th row. The Iowa offense was nearly a complete no-show.

Barkley ran 28 times for 211 yards and a touchdown.

Thirteen of the Huskers' shots came in the first half but they just couldn't find the back of the net.

Instead, focus on the job the Nittany Lions' defense did against the Hawkeyes.

The Huskers (8-3, 1-0 Big Ten) won their sixth straight match against Penn State and gave the Nittany Lions (10-1, 0-1 Big Ten) their first 3-0 loss at home since October 18, 2003 against Minnesota. Mayfield's next chance to improve his odds will be at home against Iowa State on October 7.

"Coming down to that last play, it was now or never", McSorley said.

It was a classic anyway.

Saquon Barkley Slayed The Demons of Kinnick Stadium