Penn State visits Iowa Saturday night; Here’s everything you need to know
Penn State will play in its second straight prime-time game on Saturday when the Nittany Lions open their Big Ten Conference schedule with a visit to Iowa.
Both teams enter the game with 3-0 records. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup, courtesy of Penn State’s game notes.
No. 4 Penn State (3-0) at Iowa (3-0)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m.
BETTING LINE: Penn State is a 12-point favorite in some betting lines; others have the Nittany Lions installed as 13.5-point favorites
THE SERIES: This is the 27th meeting between the Nittany Lions and the Hawkeyes. Penn State has a 14-12 advantage overall and has won the last three meetings. Since joining the Big Ten in 1993, Penn State has faced Iowa 17 times, with the Hawkeyes holding a slim 9-8 advantage.
LAST YEAR: Penn State hammered the Hawkeyes 41-14
ABOUT PENN STATE: The Nittany Lions jumped to No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press football poll after last week’s 56-0 triumph over Georgia State. It’s the 10th straight game that Penn State has scored 30 or more points.
Saquon Barkley, who leads the team in both rushing and receiving yards, padded both totals against Georgia State. He caught four passes for 142 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown, and added 47 rushing yards on 10 carries. Barkley ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yardage, trailing San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny.
Barkely is 121 rushing yards short of the 3,000-yard career milestone. He is also 196 yards shy of 1,000 career receiving yards. He would be the first Penn State player to achieve both milestones.
Quarterback Trace McSorley also continued his strong start against Georgia State, completing 18 of 23 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns. His 258 yards passing in the first half against Georgia State was a Penn State record for a first half. McSorley has completed 51 of 76 passes for 753 yards and nine TDs for the season, and has only been intercepted twice.
After being kept out of the end zone in their first two games, Penn State’s wide receivers finally found paydirt against Georgia State, as Daesean Hamilton, Saeed Blacknall and Brandon Polk all caught TD passes.
Penn State leads the nation in average margin of victory, having beaten its first three opponents by an average margin of 42.3 points. The Nittany Lions have shut out two of their first three opponents.
The Nittany Lion defense is allowing 4.7 points per game, which ranks first in the Big Ten and second nationally. Penn State has averaged 11.3 tackles for loss per game, which leads the nation. Their average of 273.7 yards allowed per game ranks 22nd.
ABOUT IOWA: Head coach Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured head coach in the nation. He is now in is 19th season as the leader of the Hawkeyes. Iowa is 3-0 this season, after opening with wins over Wyoming, Iowa State and North Texas.
Quarterback Nate Stanley leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in FBS with 10 touchdowns, and he has thrown just one interception. He is second in the Big Ten only to Penn State QB Trace McSorley in points responsible for. Stanley’s 10 TD passes in three games is the best performance over that span since Chuck Hartlieb threw 11 touchdowns over a three-game stretch in 1987.
Iowa and Penn State contrast sharply in time of possession. Iowa averages 35:35 to rank sixth in FBS, while Penn State averages 24:07 for the fifth-lowest average.
Running back Akrum Wadley ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 13 nationally averaging 170.0 all-purpose yards per game. Through three games, he has 258 yards rushing, 152 yards receiving, and 100 yards on kick returns. He has 2,681 career all-purpose yards, 18th most in program history (2,021 rush, 560 receiving, 100 KO returns).
Linebacker Josey Jewell leads the team and ranks third in the Big Ten with 28 tackles. He has led the team in tackles in each of the last two seasons (126 in 2015, 124 in 2016).