What you need to know: Penn State V. Iowa
Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye on, and when and where you can catch the Nittany Lions on fall Saturdays this season.
Need-To-Know Details: 7:30 p.m. kickoff, broadcast on BTN
Records: No. 20 Penn State (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten, East Division), Iowa (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten, West Division)
Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State has won 11 of its last 12 games.
Weather Forecast (via AccuWeather): Expect good tailgating weather for the nighttime kickoff. During the day, there’ll be an estimated high of 54 degrees and partly sunny, with about 10 percent chance of precipitation. It’ll be colder for the nighttime kickoff, around 38-40 degrees.
The Overview: Penn State followed up its upset of Ohio State with a convincing 62-24 victory at Purdue, exploding for 45 points in the second half and clamping down defensively. Now, an impromptu second White Out awaits the Lions, as James Franklin took to Twitter after the Lions beat Purdue on Saturday, rhetorically asking why there has to be only one White Out per season. Good question, and based on the immediate reaction and overwhelming support, fans can’t think of one reason not to do it again.
The Line: Penn State –6.5
All-Time Series: Penn State leads 13-12.
Last Time They Met (2012): Penn State won 38-14 in Iowa City.
Penn State Wins If: The offense continues to get everyone involved. All four running backs scored touchdowns against Purdue, with Mark Allen, Andre Robinson and Miles Sanders joining Saquon Barkley. Additionally, seven players caught at least one pass. Keep that up, and there isn’t a defense left on the schedule that can shut down the Lions.
Iowa Wins If: The Hawkeyes recreate some magic that was so prevalent during the last decade. Iowa won five straight in this series from 2000–05, and then foiled Penn State’s national title hopes with a 2008 win in Iowa City. For a mid-tier program, the Hawkeyes have given the Nittany Lions more problems than most other comparable schools.
Count On: Another 100,000-plus crowd.
Keep An Eye On: John Reid. I’ve previously mentioned Penn State’s sophomore cornerback who doubles as a punt returner. I’m still convinced he’s going to return a punt for a touchdown this year. Here’s to thinking it’ll happen Saturday night under the Beaver Stadium lights.
Trivia Tidbit of The Week: The 62 points Penn State scored against Purdue are the most by the Nittany Lions since thumping Coastal Carolina, 66-10, in the season opener in 2008.
Saquon Barkley record book watch: Barkley eclipsed the 200-yard mark again Saturday. He gained 207 yards on the ground (on just 18 carries), in addition to 70 receiving yards. I’m not entirely sure how Barkley is doing this, though he’s obviously playing a different game on a different level. He now boasts 1,964 career rushing yards, good for 19th all-time at Penn State, one spot behind Franco Harris (2,002).
*Season Record: 6-2
*Season Record Against the Spread: 5-2-1
Prediction: Penn State 31, Iowa 21
*HappyValley.com season predictions