Penn State – Iowa Predictions

Matchup: Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0) @ Iowa Hawkeyes

Where: Kinnick Stadium

When: Saturday, October 9th @ 4:00pm EST


After four straight weeks at home, Penn State finally heads back out on the road and as far as tough road games go, this is one of the toughest Penn State will play this season. They will be headed to Iowa City, Iowa to take on the No. 3 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. Penn State has had some good history at Kinnick Stadium but they have also had some devastating losses. Can they make 2021 part of the good history on Saturday? The For the Glory team tells you their predictions.

Brandon Musso (3-2)

After a nice win over Indiana last week, Penn State will leave the familiar confines of Beaver Stadium and get back on the road for the first time since their Week 1 win at Wisconsin. They are headed out to Kinnick Stadium to face the Hawkeyes in a matchup between two Top 10 teams. Although we’ve seen Penn State play some tough opponents in Wisconsin on the road and Auburn at home, I think this will be their toughest game thus far.

Kinnick Stadium is a notoriously tough place to play any Iowa team let alone a top nationally ranked team. Penn State has their hands full with this game and with a 4:00pm kickoff, there will be a portion of this game under the lights which further adds to the tough atmosphere. They will need to minimize mistakes and continue to win the turnover battle.

As far as football goes, it is once again going to come down to the Penn State rushing attack. Iowa has a great defense and they are particular good at stopping the run. They have averaged just 87 rushing yards allowed per game this season. If you combine that with the struggles the Penn State running game has had you could foresee a tough game on the ground. I’ve said it before, the Nittany Lions will need to run the ball better to be able to compete with the B1G’s top teams. If they can turn it around this week, they will have a much better chance of coming out of Kinnick with a win.

In the end, if they are going to finally get the run game going, this Hawkeye team isn’t the one that is going to allow it. I think the Nittany Lion offense sputters as they struggle to move the ball on the ground and lose a close one

Penn State 14
Iowa 17

Kraigen Rasalla (4-1)

This week Penn State has a matchup with Iowa that will have the national spotlight as both teams enter the game as top 5 nationally ranked teams. Outside of a small hiccup against Colorado State, Iowa has dominated their schedule, leading to their #3 ranking. In my opinion, Tyler Goodson is one of the best backs in the country. He is highly capable of making plays on the ground and through the air as he has at least 2 catches in each game this season. Last week, he had 2 catches for 85 yards and a TD against Maryland.

Going to the defensive side, the big story with Iowa this year is the turnovers. They are #1 in the land in forcing turnovers at 3.2 per game, thanks to 2.4 interceptions per game, which is also #1. They have 8 defenders with at least one pick and 3 defenders with multiple interceptions, including Riley Moss who has 3 interceptions, 2 going back for touchdowns.

But, I think Penn State wins this game because they have done a great job of avoiding turnovers this season. They average less than one turnover per game this season and are ranked in the top ten in the country in that category. Sean Clifford has done a much better job protecting the football this year and the running backs haven’t lost a fumble, yet. I think an added emphasis on protecting the football helps Penn State win it. James Franklin wants to end every possession with a kick. A punt, a field goal, or an extra point. That will be the message heading into this game to avoid those turnovers.

James Franklin is 4-1 against Iowa, the only loss being the final loss of the 0-5 start to the 2020 campaign. His current 9 game winning streak started following the Iowa game. I don’t see Iowa ending it, though.

Penn State 23
Iowa 13

Cory Lestochi (4-1)

I’ve read, listened, and watched quite a bit of statistics, analytics, and takes on who will win on Saturday. I’ve been to Kinnick for the 2017 last-second win over the Hawkeyes. I know the magic that is bestowed in that stadium.
I also know that James Franklin led teams are 2-0 as a top 10 team heading into Iowa City. They also bring with them numerous players and leaders that have already won there. 
All of the talk has been about the Iowa defense—rightfully so. Let’s spot Iowa 7 points for converting a turnover into points. Then let’s spot them another 3 for playing in that intimidating environment. 
Can QB Spencer Petras lead their offense down the field two additional times? I don’t think they can. Mostly because this Penn State defense is also pretty good (if you haven’t heard), especially in the red zone where they are only giving up TDs to opponents 33% of the time. 
Penn State wins and since it’s Iowa-PSU expect the score to be funky

Penn State 22
Iowa 19

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