No. 4 Penn State (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Iowa (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC).
Line: Penn State by 12 ½
Series record: Penn State leads 14-12
WHAT’S AT STAKE
With Michigan and Ohio State looming in October, the Nittany Lions can’t afford a slip-up at Iowa if they want to entertain any serious hope for a playoff spot. The Hawkeyes could let the rest of the Big Ten know that they plan on contending this season by springing the upset.
Iowa’s front seven vs. Penn State RB Saquon Barkley. As good as quarterback Trace McSorley has been for Penn State, there’s a good chance the Hawkeyes will focus on stopping Barkley (307 yards, three TDs) first. Iowa is very talented along the line and at linebacker, but the Hawkeyes have let up some big plays on the ground.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State. McSorley. If Iowa commits its safeties to stopping the run, McSorley could have plenty of opportunities to expose the Hawkeyes vertically. But McSorley might want to steer clear of Iowa CB Josh Jackson, who has been tremendous as a first-year starter.
Iowa: RB Akrum Wadley. Iowa had just 30 yards rushing last year against Penn State. Expect the Hawkeyes to get the ball in Wadley’s hands as often as they can.
FACTS & FIGURES
Penn State crushed Iowa 41-14 last season in Happy Valley. …The Hawkeyes have trailed in each of their three wins this season. …Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (10) and McSorley (9) rank first and second in the Big Ten in TD passes. …The Hawkeyes are 9-8 against the Nittany Lions since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993.
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