Penn State Nittany Lions vs Iowa Hawkeyes: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

Written by: Andre Viljoen
Updated October 14, 2022
5 min read

How to Watch

Where: Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA

When: Saturday, October 12th at 7:30pm EST

How (TV): ABC

Penn State Nittany Lions (Away)

Head Coach: James Franklin {All-Time: 74-36 | VAN, PSU}

Regular Season Record: 5-0

Led by a tough defense that has allowed just four touchdowns thus far, the Penn State Nittany Lions will look to add their first win over a ranked opponent to their playoff resume. How they perform against Iowa will be a litmus test for how they stack up against another Big Ten playoff contender in Ohio State.

In last week’s game, Penn State had little trouble with Purdue, beating the Boilermakers 35-7. Quarterback Sean Clifford spread the ball around to nine different receivers, connecting with K.J. Hamler, Jahan Dotson, and Pat Freiermuth for touchdowns. Freshman running back Will Cain ran for 105 yards and a touchdown, the first 100 yard game of his young career.

On the other side of the ball, Penn State did not allow Purdue to get anything going, holding the Boilermakers to negative yards on the ground, while sacking quarterback Jack Plummer ten times. Defensive ends Shaka Toney and Yetur Gross-Matos combined for five of those sacks.

Iowa Hawkeyes (Home)

Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz {All-Time: 156-102 | IOWA}

Regular Season Record: 4-1

The Iowa Hawkeyes will look at Saturday’s visit to Happy Valley as an opportunity for redemption after getting shut down by Michigan in Ann Arbor last week. With that game being Iowa’s first test against a ranked team, coach Ferentz will look to ensure his team makes that game look like a blip on the radar rather than a sign of things to come.

Although Iowa’s defense did their part to keep the Hawkeyes in the game, their offense could not crack the Wolverines in their 10-3 defeat. In a game marred by subpar quarterback play, Nate Stanley had an afternoon to forget, getting picked off three times and sacked eight times.

Even though Michigan is far from an offensive juggernaut, the Hawkeyes defense can hang their hat on their ability to limit the Wolverines to just 3 for 13 on third down conversions and 13 first downs for the game.

Penn State vs Iowa All-Time Series

Penn State currently holds a 16-12 lead over Iowa in 28 meetings prior to Saturday’s game. The Nittany Lions have beaten the Hawkeyes five straight times, with their last loss in Kinnick Stadium coming in 2010. That game also happened to be the last time Iowa hosted Penn State with both teams ranked in the top 25 poll.

The two schools most recently played each other last season at Beaver Stadium, with the 17th ranked Nittany Lions taking down no. 18 Iowa 30-24.

Penn State Roster Notes

Redshirt freshman receiver Justin Shorter is listed as questionable with a head injury that held him out last week against Purdue.

Redshirt sophomore running back Journey Brown is listed as questionable with a knee injury that held him out last week against Purdue.

Redshirt freshman receiver Daniel George is listed as questionable with a wrist injury.

Redshirt sophomore receiver Cam Sullivan-Brown is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury that kept him out against Purdue.

Iowa Roster Notes

Sophomore safety Kaevon Merriweather is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Brady Reiff is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Redshirt sophomore guard Kyler Schott is listed as questionable with a foot injury.

Junior cornerback Matt Hankins is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Redshirt junior offensive tackle Alaric Jackson is listed as questionable with a sprain and bone bruise in his knee.

Head-to-Head: Alaric Jackson (IOWA) vs Yetur Gross-Matos (PSU)

The matchup to look out for in this game will be on the line of scrimmage between one of the top pass rushers in the Big Ten and a seasoned blindside protector. Whoever comes out on top in this trench battle could prove to be a difference maker in the passing game, as Nate Stanley’s success will be heavily influenced by whether or not his left tackle keeps his jersey clean.

Alaric Jackson

Left Tackle | 6-6, 320lb | Renaissance HS | Detroit, MI | Redshirt Junior

Stats: 26 Career Starts

Arriving in Iowa City as a three star recruit, Alaric Jackson quickly gained the trust of coach Ferentz by earning the left tackle starting nod as a redshirt freshman. With all-conference honours under his belt, the Canadian-born tackle is able to succeed as a blocker in both the passing and running games. Despite being 320 pounds, Jackson possesses great quickness out of his stance and is able to keep all styles of pass rushers in front of him.

Yetur Gross-Matos

Defensive End | 6-5, 264lb | Chancellor HS | Spotsylvania, VA | Junior

From the moment he got to State College, Yetur Gross-Matos has been a thorn in the side of Big Ten quarterbacks. Although he is well known as a pass rusher, his athleticism allows him to shed blocks and quickly make plays in opposing backfields on running plays. Gross-Matos also has NFL scouts drooling over his versatility, as he has shown that he can line up as a defensive end and an outside linebacker. With the effort that he puts into every defensive snap, do not be surprised if he is a disruptive force on Saturday.

Penn State at Iowa – Odds

Find the latest odds for Penn State at Iowa below. The odds are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks 888Sport NJ, DraftKings, and Unibet NJ.

Money Line

Sportsbook Penn State Iowa
888Sport NJ -186 +143
DraftKings -180 +145
Unibet NJ -186 +143

Point Spread

Sportsbook Penn State -3 Iowa +3
888Sport NJ -120 -108
DraftKings -117 -105
Unibet NJ -120 -108
Image for Andre Viljoen

Andre Viljoen

College Basketball Betting Analyst

Betting Picks
Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
Favourite Sportsbook: Borgata Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: PlayStar Casino
8 years
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