No. 24 Iowa (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 7 Penn State (3-0, 1-0), 7:30 ET (CBS)
Line: Penn State by 14 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Penn State 17-14.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Hawkeyes are trying to go 4-0 for the third time since 2019 in a place coach Kirk Ferentz has won before. His teams have won the last two games in the series, including a 41-21 win in 2020 in an empty Beaver Stadium during the pandemic. The atmosphere will be much more daunting this time as the Nittany Lions are playing in their second primetime game and want to make a statement against their first ranked foe. It's a “White Out” for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s passing game vs. Iowa’s zone defense. Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker likes to eliminate big plays and force opposing quarterbacks to make mistakes with multiple zone looks. Penn State quarterback Drew Allar hasn’t thrown an interception yet. If his receivers can find holes in Parker’s defense, Allar has the vision and arm strength to take advantage.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa: DB Cooper DeJean. The Iowa junior does a little bit of everything. He’s played corner and safety and set the school’s single-season record with three pick-sixes last season. Not only is DeJean a ballhawk, he’s a capable return man, too, with an average punt return of 13.2 yards over the last two seasons.
Penn State: WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith. So far, Lambert-Smith has been Penn State’s best weapon on offense. He’s fourth among Big Ten receivers with 220 yards and three touchdowns on 13 catches. He was wide open often last week and could see even more chances if teammate Tre Wallace has to sit out again with an unspecified ailment.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is the Big Ten opener for Iowa. … The Hawkeyes are 13-11 all-time in league openers under coach Kirk Ferentz. That includes a 4-2 mark against Penn State. ... The series is 11-11 since Penn State joined the Big Ten. ... Linebacker Jay Higgins is averaging 10.6 tackles per game. … The Nittany Lions have scored at least 30 points in 10-straight games, the longest such streak in the country. … Penn State is 9-0 when forcing at least two turnovers in the last two seasons.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll