Penn State was fresh off its 1994 NATIONAL TITLE. But without several of the best skill players ever to play in Happy Valley, the Nittany Lions dropped two early games. Entering Kinnick Stadium, Penn State was only 1-2 in the Big Ten, 5-2 overall. The Hawkeyes were actually ranked higher than Penn State, albeit by one spot in the polls.
In usual fashion, Penn State allowed the opposition to hang around for most of the game. And in what would eventually become usual fashion, Iowa took advantage of that lack of a killer instinct by the Nittany Lions, taking the lead in the second half. The game seemed to being slipping away from Penn State, but the offense just kept chugging along, wearing down the Hawkeye D. All the while, the Penn State defense forced a few big sacks and a critical turnover courtesy of soon-to-be All-American safety Kim Herring.
But the star of the show, at least in the second half, was Bobby Engram. The senior receiver torched the Hawkeye defense for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. Those two scoring catches were good enough to entrench Engram as Penn State’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 27.
Penn State finished the season on a 6-1 run, with only the epic win by Northwestern tarnishing what was a great home stretch. The Nittany Lions finished 9-3 after demolishing Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. The loss would send Iowa into a temporary tailspin, dropping four straight before recovering to finish 8-4 with a Sun Bowl win over Washington.