Big Ten Battle: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Iowa Hawkeyes for an important Big Ten battle this weekend. Penn State comes into this game as the number 17th ranked team in college football with a 5-2 record. Iowa is one spot behind the Nittany Lions in the rankings at number 18, and enter this contest with a record of 6-1.
Penn State is 2-2 in Big Ten play after losing to Michigan State and Ohio State in consecutive weeks. Iowa sports a 3-1 record in conference play with their lone Big Ten loss coming at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers. Penn State beat Iowa last season by a score of 21-19. The Nittany Lions are 6.5 point favorites over the Hawkeyes in this game.
McSorley Leading Penn State Offense
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley has led the Nittany Lions offense this season with both his arm and his legs. McSorley has thrown for 1,461 yards this season but has only completed 54 percent of his passes this season. The athletic quarterback has ran for 554 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Penn State is averaging 42.9 points per game this season, which is the ninth best scoring average in college football.
The Penn State defense has also played well for them this season, giving up just an average of 22 points per game. The Nittany Lions have struggled defending the run so far this season, giving up over 165 rushing yards per game which could play a role in this game. The Penn State defense is not as skilled as the offense, but the Nittany Lions should be able to keep the Iowa Hawkeyes to a low score in this game.
Iowa Defense Playing Well
Iowa’s defense is the main reason for their 6-1 record this season, as they have given up just 14.1 points per game. Their scoring defense is the fifth best in college football, and the Hawkeyes shut out the Maryland Terrapins in their most recent win. The Hawkeyes defense will be tested against McSorley and the Penn State offense in this game.
Junior quarterback Nate Stanley has completed 61 percent of his passes so far this season, and has thrown 16 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Stanley has been sacked just five times so far this season, after being sacked 25 times a season ago. Iowa has a trio of solid running backs led by Toren Young that will do their best to chew up clock and give their defense a rest in this game.
Nittany Lions Run Away From Hawkeyes
Both Penn State and Iowa are still trying to reach the Big Ten Championship game, and need a victory in this game to keep that dream alive. Iowa hopes to get revenge on the Nittany Lions for their loss a season ago. The Iowa offense will need to have a big day if they are going to win this game.
Trace McSorley and the Penn State offense have been one of the best in the nation this season, and they will be up for this challenge. The Nittany Lions are a much better team at home, and they will use that to their advantage in this game. Bet Penn State -6.5 over Iowa on Saturday.