When Penn State hosted Iowa in Week 6 of the 2007 season, it was looking to stop two separate losing streaks.
The Nittany Lions were coming off of two-straight losses to open up their Big Ten campaign. Penn State had also not beaten the Hawkeyes in its last five tries, including an ugly 6-4 home loss in the previous meeting between the two teams in 2004.
The 2007 matchup proved to be a near-perfect streak-stopper for coach Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions.
“With the vociferous support of 108,951 fans — the largest crowd to watch a football game that Saturday — the struggling Lions were resuscitated with a 27-7 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten opener in Happy Valley,” John Black noted in The Football Letter.
Paterno noted that his quarterback Anthony Morelli, still under heavy outside criticism for his turnover-plagued performance against Michigan two weeks prior, threw the ball with more confidence against the Hawkeyes.
Morelli connected with Derrick Williams on a 24-yard touchdown to put Penn State up 10-0 at the 1:08 mark of the second quarter.
After a three-and-out by Iowa, Morelli led the Lions down the field in quick fashion and set up a 53-yard field goal from Kevin Kelly as time expired in the first half.
An 81-yard touchdown drive that ended with a Rodney Kinlaw score in the third quarter chewed up over five minutes on the game clock and extended the Nittany Lion lead to 20-0.
The two teams traded fourth-quarter touchdowns and Penn State sealed a comfortable 27-7 win that seemed to rejuvenate the team a bit.
The Nittany Lions went on two win their next two contests and five of their final seven overall, including the 24-17 success over Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl.
The win over the Hawkeyes also marked just the second time that Paterno had defeated Kirk Ferentz in a head-to-head meeting at the time.
It also proved to be Penn State’s last win in the series until 2011, when a run of three-successive Hawkeye wins was halted by a 13-3 victory by the Nittany Lions.