Penn State vs. Iowa Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Penn State vs. Iowa fearless prediction and game preview.
Penn State (3-0) vs. Iowa (3-0) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, Sept. 23rd
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
Ohio State and Michigan are still pretty good, Wisconsin appears to be pretty great, and from Minnesota to Maryland, and Purdue to Northwestern, there are a whole slew of landmines across the Big Ten schedule landscape.
So the Big Ten title hopes aren’t crushed for the loser of this, but there’s going to be a whole lot of work to do to get through the pack.
Iowa has been okay, but it could and should be better.
Dominant against Wyoming and sluggish against North Texas, the running game has been okay, the defense has been okay, and needing overtime to beat Iowa State?
But with one tough home win over Penn State, the narrative changes and Iowa suddenly might go back to 2015 and be one of those teams that finds ways to win every week.
Sort of like 2016 Penn State.
Finally, the Nittany Lions play a team that isn’t miserable at playing college football.
Akron? Miserable. Pitt? Yeah, miserable. Georgia State? Probably the most miserable team in college football.
And we’re all supposed to gush over a 3-0 start against this slate?
Beat Iowa, and yeah, it’ll be time to gush away.
One Reason Why Penn State Will Win
Akrum Wadley is a special back working behind a great line, but so far the ground game has been solid, not amazing averaging 180 yards per game.
The pass protection has been there, and the line has come through when absolutely needed, but Penn State has had the defensive front dialed up to a whole other level.
Again, the Nittany Lions have played the equivalent of a bowl of soggy Crunch Berries so far, but they’re No. 1 in the nation in tackles for loss with 34 so far, and they’re crushing it with the pass rush.
Iowa’s offensive line is at a whole other level from what Penn State has faced so far, but the pressure in the backfield should still be there from the start.
One Reason Why Iowa Will Win
Penn State might never have the ball.
As long as the the Hawkeyes can keep the explosive Nittany Lion plays to a bare minimum, they should be able to stay in control of the game by grinding down the clock and going on decent, long marches.
Even with everything Penn State has done right, it’s been awful so far on third downs – Iowa is 11th in the nation in third down defense.
Penn State might hit on big play after big play against bad defenses, but it’s still going to be a problem if it holds on to the ball for just 24 minutes like it’s been doing. Iowa is sixth in the country in time of possession.
There will be times when the Hawkeyes offense will bog down, or will need a big play and won’t be able to get it. But the defense will clean up a whole slew of messes.
What’s Going To Happen
If you want to use the Michigan win last year as a comp, go ahead, but this is a better Iowa team than the one that pulled off the thriller last season.
Penn State will have its moments when Saquon Barkley is Saquon Barkley, but he’ll also be bottled up just enough to make Trace McSorley try to win the game. Three picks from the Iowa secondary and a solid day from the pounding running game later, and the top five in the polls will see a major shakeup.
Penn State vs. Iowa Prediction
Iowa 23, Penn State 20
Penn State -12.5, o/u: 52
5: Kareem Hunt – 1: Ezekiel Elliott … 4
Must See Rating
5: The Vietnam War – 1: Young Sheldon … 4