The #4 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) meet up with the #3 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) for a top-5 matchup between a pair of Big Ten opponents in Week 6 of the college football season. Both teams are perfect on the season and coming off convincing victories last weekend.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 4 p.m. EST inside Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA. The game will be televised nationally on FOX. According to oddsmakers, the Hawkeyes are a 2-point favorite, and the run total over is at 42 points.
What to Know – Penn State Nittany Lions
Dating back to last season, the Nittany Lions carry a nine-game winning streak into this weekend’s matchup. Penn State has looked like a complete team through the first five-week of play thanks to a solid defense and improved play by quarterback Sean Clifford.
The Nittany Lions average 30.0 points behind an offense that generates 418.6 yards per game. Defensively, Penn State is holding opponents to only 12.0 points and 314.2 yards of total offense.
Clifford has thrown for 1,336 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. The signal-caller is completing 67.3% of his passes and has rushed for an additional 137 yards and one score.
Clifford’s favorite target has been a wide receiver, Jahan Dotson. Dotson leads the receiver core in receptions (35), yards (446), and touchdowns (6).
Penn State is 8-1 against the spread over their last nine games, but just 2-4 ATS in their last six on the road against the Hawkeyes.
What to Know – Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa left no doubt last week of their lofty ranking, routing the Maryland Terrapins on the road, 51-14. The Hawkeyes scored on nine consecutive possessions and forced five Maryland turnovers in the first half. A win Saturday would give the Hawkeyes a great chance to run the table to the remainder of the season
Iowa is similar to Penn State in the team statistics. The Hawkeyes are methodical on offense, scoring 33.2 points while averaging only 320.0 yards of total offense. Iowa’s defense is suffocating teams, allowing only 271.4 yards and 11.6 points per game.
Quarterback Spencer Petras has thrown seven touchdowns to just one interception. Petras has thrown for 943 yards and is completing 62.0% of his throws.
Iowa’s offense funnels through running back Tyler Goodson. The senior rusher has carried the ball 99 times for 430 yards and five touchdowns. Goodson is also second in receiving, catching 12 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
In their last seven games, Iowa is 6-1 ATS in their previous eight games, and the Hawkeyes are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games played on Saturday.
The Pick is In
Saturday’s contest should be an epic Big Ten clash between two very similar teams in personnel and style. Penn State has the better roster, and even with the hostile environment they’ll be in Saturday, we expect the Nittany Lions to escape with their perfect record intact.