What can we expect from the Nittany Lions this week?
They have two straight wins, the defense seems to get better every week, and the Evan Royster from last season showed up against Temple University. Robert Bolden is still looking like a freshman, then again he is definitely showing signs of improvement. Last week he did not throw an interception going 18/28 for 223 yards. The defense remains strong and lifts the team up when needed. Since the Alabama game, the defense has shown signs of dominance against their last two opponents and has held the opposing team to 13 points in their last two games.
Now Penn State is going to have to be balanced on all sides of the ball because conference play begins this week and it’s in Hawkeye land.
Unlike last week where Penn State dominated the series, the Hawkeyes are 7-1 in the last eight games versus the blue and white. The last two years were major upsets by Iowa who knocked off Penn State when they were ranked in the top five in the nation. In 2008 the Hawkeyes knocked in a late field goal to beat the 3rd ranked Nittany Lions 24-23 and last season they beat them again in Happy Valley 21-10. This week however, Iowa will be the favorite as they are ranked higher and are playing home where they are undefeated. Both teams are coming off wins from last week. Iowa won comfortably last week against Ball State 45-0, while Penn State had some pressure on them but, were able to pull it out against previously unbeaten Temple University 22-13.
One thing that Penn State will have to do is mirror Iowa exactly.
In other words, they are going to have to stay toe to toe in order to have a chance of winning this week. Running the ball and passing the ball are definitely going to be keys to victory. Joe Paterno believes that their defense is one of the best and it starts with their defensive line. “Well, they’re solid. They come off blocks. They line up properly. They read well. They tackle very well. They’re just a good, solid, well-coached defensive team with some kids that are strong.” Paterno also gives a lot of credit to head coach Kirk Ferentz and defensive coordinator Norm Parker who always has their team well prepared when it’s time to play, especially against Penn State. When Paterno was asked about his own defense and their play, he insists that the more they play, the better they get. “I think they’re playing better because of the fact that they’ve had, they’re getting some experience.”
Both teams come into the game 3-1 and are both 3-0 at home. The game will be televised on ESPN nationally with Mark Jones and Bob Davie calling the action. The Penn State Nittany Lions are appearing on television for the 195th time in their last 197 games.
Paterno is 11-10 against Iowa while Ferentz is 7-2 against the Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions and the Hawkeyes are meeting for the 23rd time with the series tied at 11-11. The visitors have won 14 out of the last 22 games including last year when Iowa rallied back to win.
Kickoff will be at 7:06 P.M.
About the Author
Written by Dane Hodge
I am a recent graduate of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. I majored in Communications with my emphasis in Radio/Television and Film. I have recently been writing for the Brookdale Community College Men's and Women's soccer teams in Lincroft, New Jersey on the athletic page of the school website. My love for sports is beyond this world. My real love is Television. I am a volunteer for Brookdale television as a broadcaster. One day I hope to become a great sports broadcaster, as of right now I believe that my volunteer work and my will to succeed will guide me to the path that I want. When I was younger I wrote for the Asbury Park Press in 2000, 2001. I have been writing for a while now and it is something in which I enjoy.