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Iowa vs. Penn State (What to expect)

Posted on 19. Oct, 2012 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

To get you all ready for Saturday’s game between Iowa and Penn State, I put together a list of things you ought to know before these two face off at Kinnick Stadium.

At the end, I’ll provide what I think are three keys to an Iowa victory.

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2, 2-0)

Kinnick Stadium; Iowa City, Iowa

Oct. 20, 2012

7 p.m. Central

TV: BTN (Eric Collins, Derek Rackley, Jon Jansen)

Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, Rob Brooks)

Weather: 41 degrees, clear skies

Brendan’s Three Keys to the Game:

1. Be ready on fourth down

Penn State comes into this game having converted 13 of 20 fourth-down attempts already this season, and the Nittany Lions have been aggressive enough that it doesn’t matter where on the field they happen to be if they’re facing fourth down. Iowa’s defense has to come ready to play four downs as opposed to the typical three and forcing a punt. If the Hawkeyes can thwart Penn State whenever it attempts to go for it on fourth down, they’re going to be providing the offense a short field to work with, which leads to the second key…

2. Take advantage of the short field

As good as Penn State’s defense is, Iowa will get opportunities in Nittany Lion territory Saturday night. When these opportunities present themselves, the Hawkeyes have to be able to come away with points. Along those same lines, this is a game where the plays down field are also going to present themselves. Those are opportunities Iowa has to be able to recognize and take advantage of.

3. Deliver the first blow

Iowa has momentum right now stemming from an improbable double overtime win last weekend. Meanwhile, Penn State comes into this game off a bye week. The Nittany Lions have two major challenges Saturday night: Recapturing the energy and emotion they played with during the six weeks prior, and facing what will undoubtedly be the most hostile road environment they’ve played in to date. If Iowa manages to get on the scoreboard first, the crowd could become enough of a factor that Penn State plays uncharacteristically, which could lead to turnovers, penalties, and Iowa being able to dictate both tempo and field position.

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