Penn State Football hosts its first-ranked opponent this Saturday, the No.24 Iowa Hawkeyes.
It will be a big test for the Nittany Lions.
Iowa comes into the game 3-0, and they will be playing without their top two running backs, Kaleb Johnson and Jaziun Patterson. Also, the Hawkeyes will be without leading receiver tight end Luke Lachey.
The Hawkeyes are well coached by Kirk Frentz, so regardless of who is missing, Penn State better come to play.
3 Players Penn State Football Must Stop, to Beat Iowa
Running Back Leshon Williams
Iowa likes to run the ball, so Penn State Football must focus on stopping the run.
The Hawkeyes running back, Leshon Williams, will start. Last Saturday, Willimas rushed for 143 yards on 12 carries.
Kamari Moulton and Terrell Washington Jr. will likely get carries, as well. Moulton has scored two touchdowns this season, and Washington rushed for 31 yards. Iowa is a run-first team; so, the Nittany Lions will load the box up to slow down the running game and try to make quarterback Cade McNamara beat them.
Quarterback Cade McNamara
McNamara is off to a slow start, completing just 53.5 percent of his passes. He has thrown four touchdown passes and three interceptions.
The goal for the Nittany Lions’ defense is to make McNamara beat them with his arm. That can only happen if the defense stops the run.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ offense starts with running the ball. If they cannot stop the run, it will open up the Iowa play-action attack and make it easier for McNamara to get comfortable.
Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker
If Iowa wants to pull off an upset, their defense will have a huge hand in it.
Phil Parker is one of the best defensive coordinators in the Big Ten, and he will look to confuse Penn State’s
quarterback, Drew Allar, with multiple zone defenses.
Allar must continue not to turn the ball over and give the Iowa short fields. The Hawkeyes depend on short fields to help their offense.