Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Preview and Picks

Penn State Nittany Lions
(3-1, 1-3 ATS)

Iowa Hawkeyes
(3-1, 2-2 ATS)


Both the Penn State Nittany Lions and Iowa Hawkeyes have to feel as though they can overcome an early loss in the season and become contenders for a BCS bowl once again, but as the NCAA football odds would have it, one of their dreams is probably coming to a close on Saturday night when the two meet at Kinnick Stadium.

The Nittany Lions already know what it’s like to go into hostile territory and try to pull out a win. This contest won’t quite be as difficult as the 24-3 loss at the #1 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide, but a significantly different result is going to be needed. We have had an RB Evan Royster sighting! Last week against the Temple Owls, he finally came forth with the big game that we have been waiting for, as he rushed for 187 yards on 26 carries. Still, the play of QB Robert Bolden is going to be paramount. The true frosh is the first at Penn State since HC Joe Paterno took over to be leading a team into battles like this. He hasn’t put together great numbers, but he has shown some grit and could be ready to step onto the big stage on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa’s nasty defense has only conceded two TDs all season long to teams not named the Arizona Wildcats. At home, this unit has been absolutely relentless and will continue to do so barring a slew of injuries. Iowa ranks No. 1 in the land in total defense at 227.5 yards per game, and the end result has been allowing just 12.0 points per game, good enough for fourth in the country. The better news for HC Kirk Ferentz is that his offense is rolling as well, even without RB Brandon Wegher. RB Adam Robinson has already been good for six TDs this year, and QB Ricky Stanzi is just a yard shy of 1,000 passing. As a team, the Hawkeyes have ten TD passes and eight on the ground, and there have only been three turnovers to speak of. Efficiency like that will keep this team rolling right through the Big Ten schedule, starting here against the Nittany Lions. Watch out for WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, who leads the team with 17 catches, 270 yards, and three TDs.

This is a rare situation for Iowa, which is used to just spoiling the season of the Nittany Lions as an upset. However, the bottom line remains true. This is just a better team that we’ll be backing if we take the men in black and gold. Bolden might be good for an upset like this later down the line, but at this point, just five games into his young career, he isn’t going to cut it.

Selection: Iowa Hawkeyes -7

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