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October 21, 2012A pregame fireworks display failed to provide a spark for the Hawkeyes on Saturday as Iowa was dominated by Penn State, 38-14. In our weekly news and notes, we update a rather long list of injuries suffered by the Hawkeyes, plus we had a few lineup changes during the game. In addition, Jordan Cotton gets a game ball this week for one of the few bright spots on a forgettable evening.
OFFENSE: Keenan Davis - It was an very poor effort by the Iowa offense on Saturday and you could make a case that no one deserves to be recognized this week, but hats off to Keenan Davis for playing well. Davis never showed any signs of quit out there and kept trying to make plays and once again blocked well at his position. He caught a late touchdown pass and finished with 83 yard receiving. With is four catches, Davis now has 101 career receptions.
DEFENSE: Christian Kirksey - Much like the offense, nothing really stands out and this one could have been kept on the shelf this week, but Kirksey played as well as anyone on defense yesterday. He had a season high 12 tackles, including six solos, and had a fumble recovery.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Jordan Cotton - The Mike Meyer Award doesn't go to Meyer this week after his string of 13 straight field goals was broken. For the second straight week, Jordan Cotton took a kickoff to the house for a touchdown and this time it actually counted. Cotton has given the Iowa return game a huge boost and for an Iowa team that is really struggling to score points, they need all the help they can get at this point and Cotton is providing it. The 92 yard kickoff return was the first for the Hawkeyes since Darrell Johnson-Koulianos went 88 yards against Minnesota in 2010. It is also tied for the 8th longest kickoff return in Iowa Football history.
NEWS AND NOTES
This week it's a long one thanks to several key injuries during the game.
Starting left tackle Brandon Scherff was carted off the field in the first quarter with a leg injury. Kirk Ferentz said after the game that he expects the injury will end his season. He was replaced by Nolan MacMillan.
Starting right guard Andrew Donnal suffered a knee injury a couple of plays later and did not return. He was in sweats and on crutches on the sidelines at the end of the game. Ferentz said after the game that he did not know the extent of the injury and would know more in a few days after an MRI. Safe to say that Donnal will be out for an extended period of time. He was replaced by Austin Blythe, who had started the season at guard. He saw his first action since suffering an injury a few weeks ago.
Greg Garmon got the start at running back and rushed for rushed for 27 yards. Mark Weisman did see action after injuring his ankle late last week against Michigan State. However, Weisman played sparingly with only 9 yards rushing on five carries. He did not play in the second half and Weisman admitted after the game that he was not 100%. Damon Bullock did dress for the game, but did not see action. Jordan Canzeri, who was listed as the backup on the depth chart, did not play against Penn State.
B.J. Lowery, who missed the past two games, was back in uniform and served as a backup to Greg Castillo. Lowery played in nickel situations for the Hawkeyes.
Marcus Collins, who has not played since the early portion of the non-conference season due to a leg injury, saw action on special teams late in the game.
True freshman Tevaun Smith saw his most extensive playing time of the year on Saturday. Smith replaced Greg Garmon on kickoff returns.
Sophomore safety Nico Law started at strong safety in the second half for Tommy Donatell. Law said after the game that Donatell was not injured. Once again in nickel coverage situations, Colin Sleeper filled in at free safety for Donatell and Lowery replaced Anthony Hitchens in the lineup.
For the first time since the opener against Northern Illinois, Iowa place kicker Mike Meyer missed a field goal. He actually missed two. His first miss was from 49 yards and later he missed from 37 yards. Earlier this week, Meyer was named first team midseason All American by CBSSports.com. For the year he is 14-17 on field goal attempts and a perfect 14-14 on PAT's.
The biggest explosion from the Iowa perspective happened before the game started. As the Hawkeyes took the field for the night game against Penn State, they set off fireworks that the players ran through.
LTP GETS A BLK
Louis Trinca-Pasat blocked his first career kick, a 43 yard field goal attempt in the 4th quarter. It was the first blocked field goal by the Hawkeyes since Adrian Clayborn blocked a 38 yarder by Michigan in 2010.
NOT HOME SWEET HOME
The Hawkeyes lost their third home game of the season on Saturday. This marks the first time since 2006 that Iowa has lost three games in a season at Kinnick Stadium. This year Iowa has lost to Iowa State, Central Michigan, and Penn State. In 2006 they lost to Ohio State, Northwestern, and Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes were led by James Morris and Christian Kirksey with 12 tackles. Tanner Miller had 9 stops and Greg Castillo had 8, including 7 solo tackles. Iowa forced two fumbles and had only one tackle for loss and no sacks. Micah Hyde had a career high three pass breakups.
Iowa will travel to Northwestern this coming Saturday for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.