Game Preview: Penn State vs. Iowa
Host Matt McClure alongside analysts Ben Serfass, Alec Burns and Caleb Schweiger discuss Saturday's game against Iowa:
The Penn State Nittany Lions will have their toughest test of the season on Saturday. They travel to Iowa City in an effort to extend their win streak to 12 games against Big Ten West opponents.
There’s been drama surrounding the Nittany Lions this week with both the HBO episode that aired Wednesday and the team rallying behind Jonathan Sutherland after he received an offensive letter from an alumnus.
Despite the turmoil, Penn State will have an uphill battle against the Hawkeyes. Iowa owns the fourth-best defense in the Big Ten, holding opponents to 252.4 yards and 8.8 points per game.
The running game will be imperative for the Nittany Lions. Freshman Noah Cain notched his first career 100-yard rushing game last week against Purdue. The last time the two teams met in Kinnick Stadium, Saquan Barkley rushed for 305 yards. The Penn State backfield, however, looks different this year as they mix in Cain, Ricky Slade, and Devyn Ford.
The offense could potentially play without Journey Brown, who remains questionable for Saturday’s matchup as well as receivers Daniel George, Justin Shorter, and Cam Sullivan-Brown.
The most intriguing matchup of the game will be how Nate Stanley fares against the Nittany Lion defense. It’s Stanley’s third game against Penn State, who’s recorded 14 sacks this season. The Hawkeyes experienced offense will challenge the Nittany Lions as Iowa only lost two starters from last year’s team in T.J Hockenson and Noah Fant.
Stanley’s been impressive this year with the lone exception of last weekend’s loss in Ann Arbor. Similar to last year, Penn State will look to blitz frequently and put pressure on Stanley, who’s not very mobile.
Iowa’s running abilities will be imperative to find success against the Nittany Lions. The Hawkeyes averaged 644 yards of offense before laying an egg last weekend against Michigan recording only one rushing yard. Mekhi Sargent must find success Saturday in a pivotal matchup for the Hawkeyes.
It will be a daunting task for the Nittany Lions to play under the lights in Kinnick Stadium. Clifford must take care of the ball and Penn State needs to establish the running game early. The defense for Penn State will excel Saturday as it will force Stanley to make plays with his feet and to throw the ball deep.
Prediction: Penn State 24, Iowa 13
Matthew White is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism with a double minor in both Spanish and business. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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