#17 Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-1) host #10 Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0)
Let’s talk about Jonathan Sutherland’s hair, shall we?
No, let’s not. We need to stop wasting time on hair and start thinking about going 1-0 this week. Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, Iowa. And guess what? Iowa.
I’d rather talk about what happens on the football field when these two teams get together. Who can forget the 6-4 classic in 2004? You can’t, because I won’t let you. Read about it here.
Last time out, Iowa played defense against
The SDR Will Arrive On Schedule
The initials SDR stand for Sanguinarian Day of Reckoning. After five games, we’ve finally reached the point in the season where a defining performance will be necessary. No more cupcakes (until we get to Rutgers, who should just forfeit the rest of their games and give us all a break).
Saturday, October 12, Kinnick Stadium. Circle this date on your calendar, O Mighty Sanguinarian. For it is then that ye shall face The Reckoning. And yea, though ye goest placidly amid the noise and the haste, ye shall knowest by
In other words, this is it. I’ll quote from the Book of Loggins: Make no mistake who you are — your waiting is over. Are you a man or a mouse? Win here, and you’ve shown me something. (Not enough to ensure that PSU will represent the B10 in the FBS playoffs, as some Sanguinarians will think, but you’ve gained my respect and you’ll be alive until the next SDR). Lose and I’m sending you to the southern border to build the wall.
Thing is, not only I but everyone else is basing this circle-the-calendar extravaganza on Iowa’s defense. Well, that’s because they have no offense. However, they can easily look at the Purdue “tape”* and figure out how to take away lots of Penn State’s supposed offensive juggernaut potential. Jug or not?
Nate Stanley Works Hard
Iowa fans knock their 6’4″ 243 lb senior quarterback Nate Stanley for lots of simplistic, fans-know-best reasons, but no one is saying he doesn’t work hard at his craft. Hawkeye boosters think he’s inaccurate, he makes some really bad throws per game, his numbers are deficient, and he’s not a factor in big games.
On the other hand, he is a hard-working team leader. He even garnered a compliment from Peyton Manning after attending the eponymous Manning Passing Academy, praising Stanley for his attention to detail and work ethic.
However, is his offensive line capable of giving him time to throw the ball, you ask? In the Michigan
His stats to date are 99-160 for 1225 yards, 8 TDs and 3 INTs.
Solid Running Game — Or Not?
Mekhi Sargent, a 5’9″ 212 lb Junior, is the feature back to watch, although his numbers took a hit in the Michigan game, in which he averaged 1.7
Going into the Michigan game, the geniuses thought Iowa had a competent running game. However, in that game, they were able to generate one friggin’ net yard rushing! So, what does that mean? That means “if you’re Penn State”, you follow Michigan’s formula of shutting down the Hawkeyes’ running game to make Nate
As with all Iowa teams dating back to the Hayden Fry era, a loooooooooong time ago, defense is sound. They held Michigan to 10 points and 267 total yards in last week’s pitchers’ duel, a game in which they dominated “increasingly irrelevant” time of possession 34 to 26 minutes. However, Nate’s three interceptions and one lost fumble frustrated their attempt to throttle Big Blue. The Hawkeyes allowed 120 yards rushing on 33 carries, so running Noah Cain up the gut might just be what the doctor ordered to soften them up.
Now that we’re solidly into autumn, we’re getting some real Midwestern football weather. It will be sunny with a forecast daytime high of 54°, dipping to a low of 36°. The wind will be an issue, with a cold front just having buzzed through — winds from the WSW at 19 mph. Some sloppy passing and kicking could result.
Da Bottom Line
Well, you might think a replay of the 2017 game is in the offing, like when Trace McSorley had to come back with a miraculous winning drive capped by a desperation pass to Juwan Johnson in the final seconds to snatch victory from the jaws of de
Seems like the oddsmakers are thinking that way, too. The gambling public now favors Penn State by 3.5 points on the
I’ll be back with a recap of this low-scoring SDR Bowl, you mark my words!
*Why is it that we have no replacement for “tape” in our vocabulary to describe watching recordings of past events? Coaches still speak of watching “films” or “tapes” or “footage”, but those forms of media haven’t been used for coaching analysis for eons. Why can’t they just say something like, “We’ll have to analyze the video…”, or some such bullshit? Think about it.