Iowa 41, Penn State 21: Penn State's Football Season is Officially A Lost Cause

By Matthew Filipovits on November 21, 2020 at 7:04 pm
Nov 21, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) avoids the tackle attempt of Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Riley Moss (33) while running with the ball after a catch during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State suffered an embarrassing 41-21 loss to Iowa, clinching a losing season and furthering the disaster that has been the 2020 season. Here are three of the biggest takeaways from the Nittany Lion's latest loss.

Penn State still has no idea what to do at quarterback

Will Levis got the start, but the offense mustered just seven first-half points with him at the helm. He didn't play all that poorly for just his second career start, but his arm talent made the offense one-dimensional and after a bad fumble, James Franklin made the shift back to Sean Clifford.

To his credit, Clifford made the most of his opportunity early on, throwing two touchdowns on his first two passes of the game. Granted, he followed that up with a pick off a deflection, a horrible pocket presence that led to a punt, and a bad pick to a defensive lineman.

If we're being frank, neither Levis nor Clifford are cutting it. Penn State has a quarterback problem. This seemed like the perfect week to see what Ta'Quan Roberson can give you, but the redshirt freshman was unavailable. We already know what this team has with their top two guys, so it may be time to make one last quarterback change in hopes of some answers.

It's Time to overhaul Penn State's Defense

Penn State has now allowed at least thirty points in six straight games dating back to last season, the longest streak in school history. This defense has too much talent for that to be the case, so it's time to make some changes.

Penn State's defensive line can't get home, something they struggled with for long stretches last season as well. The linebackers are lost without Micah Parsons, leaving guys to fill positions that just don't fit their skillsets. The secondary, especially the safeties, are playing some of the worst football we've ever seen.

There are going to be changes to Penn State's defensive staff by season's end, there has to be. It could happen sooner, but it looks more likely those moves come once this season mercifully ends. In the meantime, it's time for a youth movement. Get the young guys experience, it can't be any worse.

This coaching Staff Has Waved the White Flag

James Franklin and his coaching staff seem to have given up. We all had our thoughts on the team, but when the staff opted to punt down two scores late in the fourth quarter, there wasn't much doubt left. Penn State is now 0-5 for the first time in program history. They join Kansas and Vanderbilt as the only winless Power Five teams in America. With a roster this talented, that only happens if you've given up.

This season was always going to be hard. COVID-19 has upended every aspect of regular life and college football is no exception. But every team in America is dealing with the same circumstances as Penn State and not every team is playing this woefully.

Penn State is going to have a losing record for the first time since 2004. There isn't much to play for. It's up to James Franklin and his staff to get their guys ready to play, but they've failed to do that every week this season. It's become clear a lot of guys have checked out.

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