Iowa 24, Penn State 23

It's hard to even think about writing about Penn State's heartbreaking loss on Saturday to Iowa. I am physically exhausted and my stomach has that permanent pit. I watched the entire game, and it's hard to get my head around how we managed to lose that game after dominating the first half and being up 9 going into the 4th quarter. I think it's best encapsulated by Joe Paterno's son, Jay:
    "There were 25 plays in the game that, if we make one of them, we win the game," quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno said.
The most talked about play was the late interception:
    As the ball fluttered out of his hand, Daryll Clark tried in vain to snatch it back, then prayed -- "Please, please, please!" -- that Derrick Williams somehow would get a hand on it.

    Afterward, the quarterback blamed that fourth-quarter interception, and himself, for the loss that essentially ended Penn State's chance at a national championship.

    "First of all, I want to apologize to the whole Penn State nation for my play today," Clark said. "And I take full responsibility for that loss. I apologize to our seniors, and our captains. I just keep having that turnover recurring in my head over and over again.

    "I just can't get it out of my mind."
I feel bad for Clark, who has been so good all year, but now will have to replay that one play -- a errant pass in a game where it was freezing and there were 25-mph gusts -- for the rest of his life. I really hope this team can rally and win their last two games, and not let this shocking loss ruin the rest of the season. The pass is a 'game-changing performance':

The excellent recap ticks off just some of the others. Read it and it will make you crazy:
    There was the blown protection on Penn State's third play of the game, resulting in a fumble which Clark was lucky to recover at his own 1-yard line. Iowa needed just two offensive plays to respond, with Shonn Greene (the nation's only back with 10 100-yard rushing games) scoring on a 14-yard run.

    There was the busted coverage on Derrell Johnson-Koulianos' stutter-and-go route on third-and-13 in the third quarter that turned into a 27-yard touchdown. Cornerback A.J. Wallace expected help from a deep safety, which never arrived.

    There was the debilitating holding call on Penn State guard Rich Ohrnberger on the play prior to Clark's interception. The penalty, on third-and-14, negated a potential first-down completion to Butler. "I hope they're right on that one," Jay Paterno said. "I hope it's an obvious one there."

    And there was the crushing pass interference call on safety Anthony Scirrotto on Iowa's next series, which produced the game-winning field goal. Scirrotto ran into Iowa receiver Trey Stross from behind on third-and-15, giving the Hawkeyes a first down at the 39-yard line.

    "He went after the ball," defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said. "He made a play on the ball. I'm not going to fault the guy for making a play on the ball."
I'm not going to even mention that the referees gave some seriously suspect 1st down spots to Iowa in that drive. Oh wait, there I go. SUSPECT.

Watch the recap from ESPN, if you like. Favorite quote, "Don't underestimate the impact of the wind." This game happens on a sunny day, this doesn't happen. Wouldn't coulda shoulda. Arrgh.

Did I mention that I'm sad?

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