Penn State Football

How Jaquan Brisker and Robert Windsor helped turn Penn State vs. Iowa in the Nittany Lions’ favor

Penn State football walked out of Kinnick Stadium Saturday night with its undefeated record intact. The Nittany Lions defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 17-12 and are now 6-0 on the season.

The two teams battled all game long with the defenses for each team stealing the show. The Penn State defense came out on top thanks, in large part, to its front four. The defensive line pressured Iowa throughout the game and blew up the Hawkeyes’ run game and passing attack. Defensive tackle Robert Windsor played a major role in the defensive line’s domination and was one of two players at the center of the game’s turning point.

Windsor and safety Jaquan Brisker were the focal points on Brisker’s interception in the fourth quarter that led to the Nittany Lions’ second touchdown of the game. Let’s take a look at the play and how it changed the game.

Iowa lined up in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers) with 9:22 left in the fourth quarter on 1st-and-10 from its own 21-yard-line. Senior quarterback Nate Stanley took the snap from the shotgun and faked a hand-off to freshman running back Tyler Goodson. At the snap, Windsor launched off the line of scrimmage, using a swim move to beat Iowa left guard Cody Ince. Once he was past Ince, the redshirt senior was in Stanley’s face, ready to pounce.

Stanley saw Windsor, pump-faked, and flung the ball into the middle of the field with Windsor on top of him, over the head of redshirt freshman wide receiver Nico Ragaini. The ball floated in the air and into the arms of Brisker, who stumbled down to the Iowa 35-yard line. The Nittany Lions’ offense capitalized eight plays later with a Noah Cain touchdown run from five yards out, getting the Nittany Lions to 17 points in the game and sealing their victory over the Hawkeyes in one of the impressive environments in all of college football.

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Jon Sauber earned his B.A. in digital and print journalism from Penn State and his M.A. in sports journalism from IUPUI. His previous stops include jobs at The Indianapolis Star, the NCAA, and Rivals.