IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa owns Penn State. It's that simple.
The Hawkeyes have won eight of the past nine meetings.
Their defense has dominated the Nittany Lions, who have not scored a touchdown against Iowa in the last 118 minutes and 15 seconds. That's seven full quarters plus 13:15, since Daryll Clark surprised them with a 79-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage last year.
Iowa won again Saturday night in large part because of Penn State's ineptitude in the red zone.
The Lions got away with being woeful in the scoring zone against Temple, last week's inferior opponent, but Iowa is not Temple.
The Associated Press
Joe Paterno walks off the field with a disappointed look after losing to Iowa for the eighth time in nine meetings.
When a team gets inside the 5-yard line twice and comes away with only three points, it won't win many games.
The 17th-ranked Hawkeyes got off to a fast start and stifled No. 22 PSU in key scoring opportunities in a 24-3 win at Kinnick Stadium.
The game appeared over after one quarter as Iowa led, 10-0, and had outgained Penn State by a margin of 148 yards to 1.
Iowa 3, Penn State 0: The Hawkeyes took the opening kickoff and looked very impressive, quickly moving downfield with a variety of passes and runs. Ricky Stanzi hit Marvin McNutt for 13 yards early and 24 yards to the PSU 9. A weird false start penalty on Stanzi on second-and-goal at the 3 stopped the drive, and Michael Meyer kicked a 20-yard field goal with 9:21 left.
Iowa 10, Penn State 0: Iowa's offense continued to destroy PSU's defense with a 49-yard TD drive in seven plays. Stanzi found tight end Allen Reisner for 15 yards on a key third-and-7 from the Lion 30, and Stanzi had all kinds of time to throw when he hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a 9-yard TD with 1:00 to go.
Iowa 17, Penn State 0: A 12-yard punt by Anthony Fera gave Iowa the ball at the 32, and the Hawkeyes started their drive with back-to-back 18-yard passes from Stanzi to Marvin McNutt. Adam Robinson gained 31 yards on four carries to the 1, and two plays later Stanzi dove over center for a TD with 1:41 left in the half.
Iowa 17, Penn State 3: Collin Wagner kicked a 25-yard field goal on the final play of the half. There was all sorts of confusion before the field goal as Rob Bolden hit Brett Brackett for 49 yards to the 3 with 6 seconds left. PSU spiked the ball and lost three seconds instead of taking a timeout, then had a delay of game when it wanted to go for a TD from the 3. The penalty forced the Lions to go for the field goal instead.
Iowa 24, Penn State 3: Shaun Prater picked off a pass from Bolden and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown, finishing the sparkling return with a dive into the end zone.
The Lions hung tough, however, and actually outplayed the Hawkeyes through the middle quarters. But PSU's problems in the red zone sank any chance it had at winning the Big Ten opener.
"It's pretty frustrating," center Doug Klopacz said. "That's how things are going."
Iowa led, 17-0, when Rob Bolden hit Brett Brackett for 49 yards down to the Hawkeye 3 with 6 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Lions (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) decided to try for a touchdown rather than a field goal, but instead of calling a timeout to set up a play, the coaches had Bolden spike the ball. They thought only one second should have ticked off, but 3 seconds came off the clock.
Penn State still wanted to go for a touchdown, but in the confusion, the offense didn't get on the field in time to get the play off. A delay of game penalty forced PSU back to the 8, and Collin Wagner kicked a field goal to make it 17-3 at the half.
The second missed opportunity came midway through the third quarter when the Lions put together their best drive of the night to get a first-and-goal situation at the 10.
A shuffle pass to Evan Royster netted 5 yards, then Royster carried 4 yards to the 1.
The next two plays went nowhere, with fullback Michael Zordich getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage and Bolden getting stopped just inches short on fourth down.
Asked later if he would have done anything differently on that series, Paterno said, "Yeah, sure, now. Picked another play."
If Penn State could have finished either of those two drives with a touchdown, the game may have unfolded differently.
"Obviously," receiver Justin Brown said.
The Lions still may not have won - Iowa's offense may have gone on the attack - but PSU at least may have had a better chance down the stretch.
Penn State has now reached the red zone 18 times and scored only six touchdowns, to go along with six field goals.
"We have to go back and collect ourselves," Brackett said. "There's only so much the coaches can do. As players, we have to execute."
That's something the offense just has not done this season, and especially in the two biggest games as they've lost by the same final score against both Alabama and Iowa (4-1, 1-0).
Bolden finished 20-of-37 for 212 yards and one interception, which was returned 33 yards for a clinching touchdown by Shaun Prater in the fourth quarter.
"We got guys open, but we're making up our minds to throw the ball late," Paterno said. "You know what, we're playing with a kid that's a true freshman at quarterback. Things have to be available right now, otherwise he stays on one receiver. He'll get better."
Bolden had little help on offense as PSU ran for only 85 yards on 23 carries. Evan Royster led the way with 56 yards on 10 attempts, including a 26-yarder.
Ricky Stanzi completed 16-of-22 passes for 227 yards and one TD for Iowa. Adam Robinson ran for 95 yards on 28 carries.