Penn State backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson’s pass fell incomplete on 4th-and-7 on his own 11-yard line, and the Nittany Lions’ chances of escaping Iowa City with an upset win evaporated with it.
Once Penn State senior quarterback Sean Clifford left Saturday afternoon’s game with an injury, Roberson, a redshirt sophomore with virtually no experience, entered the contest and, predictably, offered next to nothing in the passing game. Leading 17-3 when Clifford left, Penn State could only muster a field goal upon Clifford leaving the Hawkeyes with an opportunity to get back into the game.
Iowa completed a 20-3 run over the next two and a half quarters to take a 23-20 lead against the Lions, and PSU couldn’t muster up much in response.
When Roberson’s pass fell incomplete with just a few seconds remaining, after throwing an interception on the previous drive and turning the ball over on downs the drive before that, Iowa secured a huge Top 5 win against a good PSU team.
As such, the Hawkeyes fans stormed the field after a come-from-behind win against No. 4 Penn State, as captured by NSN’s Alan Cole.
Final: Iowa 23, Penn State 20 pic.twitter.com/F7eAcgd0sB
— Alan (@Alan__Cole) October 9, 2021
With the win, Iowa will maintain its spot inside the Top 4 of the AP Poll while the Lions will drop back a few places. However, with quite a few games left to be played in the Big 10 season, not all is lost for the Lions.
Penn State will certainly need Clifford to get healthy as soon as possible though.