Iowa knocks Penn State and Joe Paterno from unbeaten ranks

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Penn State can't blame the BCS for this.

The Nittany Lions' perfect season and hopes for giving coach Joe Paterno a national title were dashed by Iowa's backup kicker.

Daniel Murray, who hadn't made a field goal since the opener, hit a 31-yarder with a second left and the Hawkeyes rallied to stun the third-ranked Nittany Lions 24-23.

All that talk about an unbeaten Penn State possibly being left out of the BCS national title game turned out to be premature. A third championship for Paterno, 81, who has had four unbeaten teams not win titles, is a long shot now.

Shonn Green rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and Ricky Stanzi bounced back from an interception and a fumble to lead the Hawkeyes on their winning drive, which came after Daryll Clark threw just his third interception of the season.

Murray had lost the regular field-goal duties to freshman Trent Mossbrucker and was relegated to kickoffs. But with the winds swirling and strong, coach Kirk Ferentz opted for Murray's experience and strong leg.

He drilled it down the middle, sending Iowa's freezing fans spilling onto the field.

"I've always dreamed about it," said Murray, who grew up in Iowa City. "I kept hoping and hoping I'd get my chance."

The Nittany Lions were third behind Alabama and Texas Tech in the last Bowl Championship Series standings. Now the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth are the Nittany Lions' main goals.

"We need to keep our heads up. We can still have a heck of a year," said Paterno, who again coached from the press box and got around with a cane because of a sore leg and hip.

Iowa trailed 23-14 heading into the fourth quarter. But Greene's second TD, from 6 yards, made it 23-21 with 9:20 left.

Then with 3:46 left, Clark's errant throw down the middle was picked off by Tyler Sash, who returned to Iowa's 29.

Iowa 24

No. 3 PSU 23

Iowa knocks Penn State and Joe Paterno from unbeaten ranks 11/08/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:26am]

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