Nittany Lions defense does a number on Hawkeyes


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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's sputtering offense finally produced a touchdown in the red zone.

Backup quarterback Matt McGloin's 2-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Kevin Haplea Saturday with 8:08 remaining put the finishing touches on the Nittany Lions' 13-3 victory against Iowa before 103,497 fans at Beaver Stadium.

It helped Penn State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) snap a three-game losing streak against long-time nemesis Iowa (3-2, 0-1), which had won eight of the previous nine meetings.

"We had a nice chip on our shoulder, it being Iowa, because they had our number the past couple years, so this one feels really good," tailback Silas Redd said.

Penn State's offense had failed to score a touchdown on its previous eight trips inside the 20-yard line until Haplea snagged his first touchdown pass.

It also was his first catch of the season.

"It felt good to finally get the ball in the end zone," McGloin said.

On their other three trips inside the red zone, the Lions managed two 20-yard field goals from Anthony Fera and McGloin tossed an interception in the end zone the previous series before the touchdown on an underthrown pass to wide receiver Derek Moye.

It was McGloin's first interception in 94 pass attempts.

"The touchdown was a little redemption for me," said McGloin, who came off the bench and completed 12 of 19 passes for 133 yards. "That interception was not a good throw."

Redd gained a career-high 142 yards on 28 carries, a 5.1 average. He had 90 yards and 16 carries in the second half. It was his second consecutive 100-yard game and his third this season.

"The offense just played with so much more passion," Redd said. "I don't know what it was. Hopefully, we can keep it going for the rest of the year."

The Lions finished with 231 yards rushing on 46 attempts, as backup Curtis Dukes added 60 yards on nine carries, a 6.7 average.

"I thought we did a better job blocking," coach Joe Paterno said. "We had some of the young guys getting a little better feel for the hole. I thought Redd had a pretty good game."

On the touchdown drive, Penn State ripped off 10 consecutive running plays after outside linebacker Nate Stupar's fumble recovery until McGloin tossed his fifth touchdown pass of the year.

"They were getting really tired up front and we had to take advantage of it," McGloin said. "And we just kept pounding it and pounding it."

Rob Bolden, who started his sixth consecutive game at quarterback for Penn State, played just one series in each half, one of which was a three-and-out.

He completed 3 of 7 passes for 31 yards and added three carries for 13 yards.

"I wish I could have played more, but we got the 'W' and that's all that matters," Bolden said.

Quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno was asked if he would switch the order of the rotation after McGloin outplayed Bolden once again.

"No, not right now," he said. "I wouldn't think so."

As has been the case most of the year, Penn State's defense was stingy.

The Lions held the Big Ten's top passing attack to 169 yards through the air, 84 yards rushing and a 23-yard field goal by Mike Meyer that tied the score at 3-3 in the second quarter.

Penn State also forced three fourth-quarter turnovers. Outside linebacker Gerald Hodges forced the fumble Stupar recovered. Free safety Nick Sukay and nickel back Malcolm Willis added interceptions.

Penn State also had a season-high five sacks against Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg, who was 17 of 34 for 169 yards with two interceptions. Strong safety Drew Astorino had a team-high 11 tackles.

"For the first time in a long time, I thought we played a complete game," defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said.

NOTES -- Freshman cornerback Adrian Amos made his first career start in place of Stephon Morris (ankle). ... Tailback Brandon Beachum (sprained foot) and cornerback D'Anton Lynn (concussion) did not play. ... Tailback Stephfon Green made his first appearance of the year.


Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com and Twitter @rmusselmanppg.


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