IOWA CITY, Iowa. (KCRG) -
Game: #10 Penn State (5-0) at. #17 Iowa (4-1)
Kickoff: 6:44 p.m.
Venue: Kinnick Stadium
Iowa has lost five in a row and is 12-16 all-time against the Nittany Lions. Saturday is the second consecutive season that the teams will meet while both ranked in the AP Top 25. Last year, #17 Penn State defeated #18 Iowa 30-24. The last time the schools met at Kinnick Stadium while ranked was back in 2010, which is Iowa’s last win in the series (24-3).
Iowa Tidbits: Iowa’s offense is hoping to rebound after putting up just three points last Saturday in Ann Arbor. Looking for a spark, the Hawkeyes moved freshman Tyler Goodson into the depth chart for the first time this season. Goodson 40 carries on the season and 14 receptions out of the backfield, the most among all BIG10 running backs. Expect to see Goodson involved in the game plan along with Toren Young and Mekhi Sargent.
Quarterback Nate Stanley was unable to throw a touchdown pass last week, meaning he still sits one behind Drew Tate in the Iowa record books. Stanley comes in with 60 career touchdown passes, and needs 14 to tie Chuck Long for the most all-time.
Last week the Iowa defense allowed their first rushing touchdown of the season. The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions are two of just six schools in the nation to allow one touchdown or fewer this season. Iowa defense ranks third in the country in scoring defense (8.8) and fifth in the country in total defense (254.2) and has allowed just five touchdowns all year. However, Penn State joins Wisconsin as the only BIG10 teams to allow fewer (4).
Saturday will be the 20th night game in Kinnick Stadium’s history and in those games the Hawkeyes have squared away with Penn State the most of any other team. Saturday will be the fourth time for the two programs under the lights at Kinnick, with Penn State holding a 2-1 advantage. Iowa is 13-6 against all other opponents in night games at Kinnick.
A look at the opponent: #10 Penn State To counter Iowa’s third ranked scoring defense in the country, Penn State boasts the second best scoring defense allowing just 7.4 points per game. The Nittany Lions have not allowed an opponent to score more than 13 points so far this season. They are anchored by defensive ends Yetur Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney who have a combined 10.5 sacks on the season. PSU averages five sacks a game, a mark that leads the nation.
Penn State has been dominant against the BIG10 West winning their last 11 games against west opponents. The Nittany Lions are about to embark on their toughest part of the schedule, meeting Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State in the next five weeks. Each game, with the exception of Michigan, is on the road.
Penn State ranks fifth in the country on offense averaging 47 points per game. They are most dangerous when in the red zone, dating back to 2017, PSU has scored on 100 of its last 105 red zone possessions. So far this season, Penn State is 22-23 in the red zone with 18 touchdowns.
Even without Trace McSorley, Saquan Barkley and Miles Sanders, Penn State has continued their tradition of having star power on offense. Quarterback Sean Clifford is the first PSU QB since at least 2000 to throw at least 12 touchdowns and 1,400 yards in the first five games of a season. Clifford is averaging 328.6 yards of total offense per game, which is best in the BIG10.