Examining Penn State’s Matchup Vs Iowa On Saturday

Examining Penn State’s Matchup Vs Iowa On Saturday

Penn State Vs Iowa Hawkeyes Preview 2019

I gave out a prediction a week ago of 45-10 and although Penn State failed to cover the spread by a measly half-point, I felt pretty good about the 35-7 result.

Defensively, Penn State wowed us all with 10 sacks and their run defense once again showed up big, but offensively, the team sputtered after a 28-0 second-quarter lead. The offensive line struggled to keep Clifford clean in the pocket at times in the game, which is worrisome heading into Iowa City on Saturday. KJ Hamler was the fastest I’ve ever seen him look and Jahan Dotson got to show off his YAC ability on that nice 72-yard touchdown reception. Things got a bit sloppy in the third quarter and it circles back to the lack of good pass protection, but Penn State’s insanely disciplined defense was able to keep them comfortably ahead en route to a 35-7 sound beating of Purdue.

Penn State is a -3 favorite against Iowa this weekend on a point total of 42. Sports bettors in PA can bet this line on PlaySugarHouse PA.

There’s not a lot to say about the performance that’s negative, but it’s going to be very interesting to see who Penn State leans on in what should be a close road test at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City this Saturday. I want to see what the true identity of this Penn State offense is when Coach Franklin gets in the pivotal spots in the game.

Penn State has to protect Clifford better

I’m very interested to see how the pass protection holds up against a stout Iowa defense in a hostile environment. One sack, three quarterback hurries, and seven tackles for a loss may not seem too bad, but against a defense like Iowa, an equivalency bump in those numbers is going to result in a lot more stalled drives. Clifford is a terrific athlete, but Shea Patterson of Michigan is even more athletic and he had all kinds of issues dealing with Iowa a week ago.

Penn State must force Iowa to put the team on Stanley’s shoulders

Nate Stanley isn’t a dynamic quarterback. This Iowa offense is not explosive, and their success rests on their defense’s ability to set up their offense with favorable field position. Their rushing attack isn’t very potent, either. Nate Stanley has put up game manager numbers through their first five games, so why should we even be worried? Last week, Penn State held Purdue’s running back to just 26 yards on 11 carries. For the season, Penn State is holding opposing teams to just 50 yards on the ground per game.

The best way to describe this Iowa team is that they’re a B-version of Penn State. They run a balanced offense. Their pass defense is probably slightly better on paper, but that’s the only area Iowa is disputably stronger. For Penn State to leave Iowa City with the win, they’re going to need to shut down Iowa’s rushing attack and put Nate Stanley in 3rd and long situations. Obvious passing downs mean open season on the pass rush and Penn State’s pass rush is very dangerous. As long as they can force Stanley into trying to beat Penn State through the air, Penn State should be able to grind out a critical road win.

My Prediction

According to PA online sportsbook PlaySugarHouse, Penn State is a favorite at -3 with a total points line of just 42 points. As I stated earlier, this Iowa team seems like the B-version of Penn State, so I think Penn State should be able to control the trenches on defense and Clifford will be able to make a few plays here or there and that should be the difference.

Noah Cain and Journey Brown will be critical to establishing a rushing attack that will set up the pass for Clifford. Dotson and Hamler are talented enough to overcome a stout secondary if given the chance. I think Penn State will pull further and further away in a very low-scoring, defensive tug of war. Expect a dog fight in this night game at Kinnick Stadium.

Final Score: Penn State 23 Iowa 13