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Penn State vs. Iowa Football Prediction and Preview

Penn State vs. Iowa Football Prediction and Preview

Penn State vs. Iowa Prediction and Preview

Two years ago, Penn State needed a last-second touchdown pass from Trace McSorley to escape Kinnick Stadium with a hard-fought win against Iowa. Will we be getting another nailbiter that goes down to the wire Saturday night?

Penn State has cracked the top 10 of the national polls but faces its first true test of the season with a road trip to Iowa. Iowa will be looking to bounce back from a difficult loss in a defensive slugfest against Michigan last week. This could be a very dangerous setting for Penn State, but the big question is whether or not the Hawkeyes can find their offense in a big spot to stay in the thick of the Big Ten West Division race moving forward.

Penn State at Iowa

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET


Spread: Penn State -3.0

When Penn State Has the Ball

For as much attention as Penn State's running game has been receiving lately, the Nittany Lions bring the Big Ten's leading passing offense to Iowa City this weekend. Led by Sean Clifford at quarterback, Penn State is averaging 305.6 passing yards per game with 13 touchdowns passes to just two interceptions (only Ohio State's 27 touchdowns and one interception are better in the Big Ten). Clifford leads the Big Ten with an average of 288.6 passing yards per game, averaging 10.7 yards per attempt. However, this week will bring the toughest pass defense Clifford has faced to date. Iowa has allowed just four touchdown passes this season, and they have intercepted four passes. Iowa has allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards per game. It is also reasonable to suggest that Clifford has not been put in a scenario with some real adversity yet, and this setting should see what he is capable of doing under immense pressure. A.J. Epenesa will look to bring constant pressure on the young starting quarterback, and Penn State's offensive line will have a tough task on its hands.

Iowa also handles running games pretty well, too, so Penn State's running back by committee will have to be patient. The Hawkeyes have allowed just one rushing touchdown this season. Penn State's offense has scored 17 rushing touchdowns, including a few by their quarterbacks. Young backs Noah Cain and Journey Brown have had some solid performances early on this season, but this may be a game where Penn State needs one of its backs to declare himself as the guy who can be trusted to pick up some hard yardage.