Iowa vs. Penn State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 27
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Beaver Stadium, State College, PA
Iowa (6-1) vs. Penn State (5-2) Game Preview
One Reason Why Iowa Will Win
Blow off the 86 yards Nate Stanley threw for against Maryland, because there was a huge win blowing around the offenses in Iowa’s 23-0 win. Stanley – under normal conditions – has been red hot.
The junior hit the 300-yard mark in three of his four previous games before he had to guide the offense through the wild conditions last week, but he was able to not screw up and get the job done.
The defense did the rest.
This isn’t a brick wall of a Hawkeye pass defense, but the front seven isn’t allowing a thing. Wisconsin was able to run for 210 yards and close to five yards per carry, but that’s Wisconsin. No one else has averaged three yards per pop yet, with five of the last six teams coming up with fewer than 100 yards on the ground.
Iowa might have the passing game moving, and the run defense has been great, but it’s the control the team has had that’s making the difference. Iowa dominates the time of possession battle – Penn State doesn’t.
It’s possible Iowa has the ball for well over 35 minutes and keeps Trace McSorley and company off the field to long, long stretches.
One Reason Why Penn State Will Win
Iowa might have the nation’s No. 3 defense, but the secondary can be thrown on.
Penn State will give the ground game a push and try to balance things out, but this is all on McSorley’s shoulders.
He hasn’t gone off with the passing game yet this year, but he needs to keep the chains moving and get to at least 250 yards with a key drive or two to answer any Hawkeye scores. He’s going to have to keep up with Stanley.
Iowa’s secondary has yet to face anyone who could turn loose the passing game. Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook hit 77% of his passes, and Indiana’s Peyton Bender completed 74% of his throws for 263 yards. McSorley isn’t accurate, but he’s timely.
On the other side of the ball, welcome to the Penn State pass rush. The secondary has been strong, but it’s helped by a line that leads the Big Ten in both sacks and tackles for loss. Iowa might give up the fewest sacks in the conference, but it hasn’t seen a D that can get behind the line like this.
What’s Going To Happen
Penn State hasn’t recovered from the late loss to Ohio State, It was shocked by Michigan State, struggled to get by Indiana, and is now going to get hit by a red-hot Iowa.
Both quarterbacks are in for big days. Neither running game will do much, but the passing attacks will keep things moving with a few home runs and 500 yards combined between Stanley and McSorley.
But Iowa will control the tempo when it has to, will get better line play, and it’ll make up for last season’s thrilling heartbreaker loss in Iowa City with a big win to keep its Big Ten championship hopes alive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Iowa 27, Penn State 24
Line: Penn State -6.5, o/u: 52.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3.5
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