Playing on an apparent tender right knee, Trace McSorley passed for 167 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, and No. 17 Penn State hung on Saturday for a 30-24 win over No. 18 Iowa at University Park, Pa.
Freshman Jake Pinegar hit two of his three field goals of 40-plus yards for the winning margin after McSorley, who sat out most of the second quarter, broke a 17-all halftime tie when he ran 51 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.
Penn State (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) has won two straight.
Nate Stanley passed for 205 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions for Iowa (6-2, 3-2).
Penn State punter Blake Gillikin bobbled a snap and had his hurried punt blocked by Iowa’s Dominique Dafney. The ball bounced through the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Iowa lead 52 seconds in.
Miguel Recinos’ 27-yard field goal made it 5-0.
On a fake field goal, Iowa holder Colten Rastetter threw a fade to senior walk-on defensive end Sam Brincks for a 10-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
The Nittany Lions cut it to 12-7 when McSorley scrambled to his right and passed 18 yards to Pat Freiermuth.
Just over a minute into the second quarter, McSorley left after he got sacked, with end Anthony Nelson falling on his right knee.
Gillikin lined up to punt, but Kyle Vasey’s snap sailed through the end zone for another safety and a 14-7 Iowa lead.
Penn State’s John Reid intercepted Stanley and returned the ball 44 yards to the Iowa 3, setting up backup quarterback Tommy Stevens’ 3-yard touchdown on a keeper for a 14-14 tie.
Recinos, from 49 yards, and Pinegar, from 45, traded field goals for a 17-17 tie.
McSorley returned after halftime. After his scoring run at 12:10 of the third quarter, Pinegar added a 49-yard field goal for a 27-17 Penn State lead.
Geno Stone intercepted McSorley and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to close it to 27-24.
Pinegar hit from 44 yards with 8:24 remaining.
—Field Level Media