The 6-2 Nittany Lions will return home after their dismantling of Purdue to face a stubborn Iowa squad with one the on their minds, upset.
Penn State will be back in prime time as they face a talented Iowa Hawkeyes team that will be looking to turn around their season with an upset in Happy Valley. Penn State will counter with star running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley, both will need to run the ball affectively to keep the Iowa defense off balance. Iowa’s star QB C.J. Beathard will be a tough challenge for the Nittany Lions defense. Iowa has a history of upsetting the Nittany Lions, can they do it again?
Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA.
Time: 7:30PM (Eastern)
Television: Big Ten Network
Opponent: Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 3-2)
Ranks: PSU- 20(AP), 12(Playoff Commitee) Iowa- 44 (AP)
Line: PSU -7
Last Meeting: 38-14 PSU (2012)
Visitors: 2017 recruits: 4 star CB Lamont Wade (OV), 4 star DT Elijah Conliffe (OV), 3 star DT Dylan Wade-Perry, 4 DT Fred Hansard(Florida commit). 2017 commits: 3 star OG Mike Miranda(OV), 3 star OT Robert Martin, 4 star QB Sean Clifford, 3 star DE Damion Barber, 3 star WR Mac Hippenhammer.. 2018 recruits: 4 star LB Malik Vann, 4 star S Kwantel Raines.
James Franklin will again have to deal with added too pressure on his team after the college football playoff commitee ranked his Nittany Lions #12 in their first rankings. Franklin is also going for white out 2.0 because he knows how important this game is and he’ll need the crowd to be in it from start to finish. Iowa has spoiled Penn State seasons before, in 2008 the Hawkeyes destroyed Penn State’s championship chances with a last second field goal. The Hawkeyes then dismatled the Nittany Lions the next two seasons, but Penn State has won the last two contests.
Iowa may be 5-3, but their team is as talented and experienced as any in the nation. Beathard and his running back Akrum Wadley are a very talented duo and Iowa’s ability to run the ball will cause fits for a Penn State defense that has struggled to stop the run. Iowa’s defense is good, very good, they are led by senior CB Desmond King who is bound to be taken in the first round come April. The squad is only giving up 18.9 points per game, but they will be going up against Penn State’s high powered offense which is averaging 33.6 points per game.
This game will not be an easy one for the Nittany Lions. Iowa will keep it close and could take the lead a few times. In the end though, the crowd, along with Iowa’s frequent struggles on offense will help Penn State win this one. Tyler Davis will hit a couple clutch field goals, but the difference will be McSorley’s ability to make plays with his feet. I’ll go with the Nittany Lions at home, but Iowa won’t be an easy victory.
Prediction: Penn State 30 Iowa 26