October 8, 2011; State College, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive lineman Jordan Hill (47) during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE

Penn State - Iowa: Prediction Roundtable

With the bye week behind them, the Nittany Lions travel to Iowa City this Saturday for a night game at Kinnick Stadium against an old nemesis. Here’s the VBR staff predictions!
Matt de Bear:
I try to be impartial with these picks, I really do, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why Iowa is a 3 point favorite.  Somehow a win against Minnesota at home, and not losing to Sparty (I refuse to that that a win) has made everyone forget about the fiasco that was their first 4 games.  Iowa is still a flawed team with no passing game, a running back hating God, and defense that gave up 32 points, to Central Michigan, at home.
Penn State’s defense is well built to stop Iowa’s run first (and second, and probably third) offense, and the Lions’ offense is the best Iowa has seen all season.  I think Matt McGloin has a big game, and the tight ends to step up as Iowa focuses on Allen Robinson.  State’s success passing early and physical offensive line wears down the Iowa front 7, and Zach Zwinak takes advantage late.  The scoreboard will show a 14 point difference, but I don’t think it will feel that close.

PSU:   28

Iowa:  14
Chris Chuff:
Iowa is coming off a double overtime victory against a solid Michigan State team.  Penn State is coming off of a bye week.  Therefore, Iowa is coming into this game with a lot of confidence and Penn State is coming into this game well-rested.
While the Iowa Hawkeyes are strong against the run, they struggle against the pass.  Exploiting this weakness, the well-rested Nittany Lions eviscerate the Hawkeye’s newfound confidence by the end of the first half, continuing their season trend of first-half dominance.  The Lions keep their foot on the gas in the second half and cruise to another victory.
PSU: 35
Iowa: 13
Corey Hunter:

A night game at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium is tough for any team, let alone a Penn State team that has not won in that environment since 1999.  Iowa has been a team that has caused much anguish and heartbreak for Nittany Lion fans.  The 24-23 Iowa victory in 2008 ruined a chance to play for the national title while the 6-4 loss in 2004 may have been one of the most pathetic I have ever witnessed.
This year’s Nittany Lion’s squad is different.  They possess an accurate quarterback – yes I said accurate, dynamic play-calling that involves the tight end, an offensive line that seems to want to block not only for the run game, but also for quarterback Matt McGloin, and defense that has been improving each week.
While many around Nittany Nation think this is a slam dunk for Penn State, I am taking the more conservative approach.  Iowa is coming off a gutty win in East Lansing and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz seems to have Penn State’s number.  Perhaps the coaching change at Penn State is just the tonic the Lions need to get the victory.
The team that can run the ball better in this game will win the game, and I think Penn State will have a slight advantage in that category.  Recall last year, when Silas Redd used this game as his coming out party for the rest of the year as he ran for 142 yards.  Look for the Lions to attack the line of scrimmage again this year to wear down the Hawkeyes defensive front.

My bold prediction: Penn State will kick not one, but two field goals in this game!

PSU: 20
Iowa: 13
Tim Tolley:
There’s probably no team in the Big Ten that creeps me out like the Iowa Hawkeyes. No matter how good Penn State is or how bad Iowa is, I’ll always be skeptical about Penn State’s chances heading into the game.
But times have changed.
Penn State will arrive in Iowa City this weekend with a new staff and a new confidence. Gone are the days of Iowa out-coaching more-talented Penn State teams. The Nittany Lions are the best offensive team that Iowa has seen this year and Iowa’ pro-style, one dimensional offense should feed right into the teeth of the PSU defense. Despite my fears, Penn State beats Iowa, for the 2nd year in a row.
PSU:   31
Iowa: 6
Eric Sion:
Penn State’s recent struggles in Iowa City are well documented, but this is a much different Nittany Lion squad that’s under a new regime. Bill O’Brien’s team is hot, winning four games in a row and coming off a bye week. Iowa, for as bad as they’ve looked at times this season, has the same record as Penn State (4-2 overall, 2-0 in the Big Ten) and is coming off a big win at Michigan State. A key for Penn State in this game will be how they come out at the start and whether or not they’re rusty from the bye. With Ohio State looming next week, they can’t afford to overlook Iowa. Penn State-Iowa games usually come down to the battle in the trenches and I expect Penn State to win that battle. Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg is still a threat to the Nittany Lion defense but Matt McGloin will continue his stellar play and outperform Vandenberg. Penn State’s defense will make enough plays and I just don’t think Iowa has enough play makers on offense to win this one.
PSU:   23
Iowa: 17
Craig Dauman:
As my article, Revisiting the Iowa Rivalry pointed out, Penn State hasn’t had the best luck versus Iowa, especially in Kinnick. Coming off a bye hasn’t helped their cause either, going 0-3 in 2003, 2004 and 2008. However, while I believe the atmosphere will cause PSU a few problem, I believe they have the better offense and defense by a considerable margin. Vanderberg has showed little progress as a passer and they are on their 100th RB in 4 years. There is no threat of a mobile QB, so I believe PSU should be able to blitz and create havoc in the backfield. If PSU can hold onto the ball, have a few 10, 12, 14 play drives and put the ball in the end zone, this one could be a double-digit win for PSU.
PSU: 35
Iowa: 20
Chuck Reynolds:
The 2009 Iowa game was the 2nd most disappointing PSU game I have ever attended-topped only by the 1999 Minnesota tragedy that I will never be able to forget. As for this week’s game I think PSU shows up ready to play on the road-a marked difference from past seasons. Iowa’s strength on offense has been its running game-but the Nits will be able to slow that down considerably. On offense Penn State will be able to move the ball through the air again. Penn State wins-setting up an incredible atmosphere a week later in Happy Valley.
PSU:   28
Iowa:  17

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