The third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes are set to play host to the fourth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in an historic matchup in Kinnick Stadium. It marks the first time since 1985 a pair of top-5 teams have faced off in Kinnick and the first time since 1962 a pair of top-5 Big Ten teams have marched up without one of the two teams being either Ohio State or Michigan.
This one is set to be a defensive slugfest as the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions boast the #2 and #3 scoring defenses in the nation. Iowa also comes in leading the nation in turnover margin and interceptions after intercepting Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa six times in week five.
The Hawkeyes dominated the Terrapins in that matchup, winning 51-14 to move to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten. On the other side of this matchup, Penn State similarly dominated Indiana 24-0. That moved the Nittany Lions to 5-0 on the year and 2-0 in the conference.
The Nits already have wins over then #12 Wisconsin in Madison and then #19 Auburn at home. But Penn State hasn’t won a road game against a top-5 team since a 1994 win over Michigan and the Nittany Lions sit at 1-15 against top-5 opponents since the turn of the millenium.
The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, are 4-2 inside Kinnick Stadium against top-5 teams dating back to 2000. Iowa hasn’t lost a game at Kinnick as a top-5 team since 1984.
They enter this one riding an 11-game winning streak dating back to week three of the 2020 season. Quarterback Spencer Petras has been at the helm for all 11 wins and comes into today’s matchup with an 11-2 record as the starter. That ties Heisman runner-up Brad Banks for the highest winning percentage by a starting QB in Iowa history (.846).
As we countdown to kickoff in Iowa City, here’s what you need to know about today’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, October 9th
Time: 3:00pm CT
Matchup: #4 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0, 1-0) at #3 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0, 1-0)
Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA
Preliminary Weather Forecast: partly sunny with temps in the low-80s, 10% chance of rain
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Iowa -1.5, O/U 40.5
As you count down to kickoff, be sure to check out all of our coverage from throughout the week. You can easily access everything Kent State related in the #3 Iowa vs. #4 Penn State Game Center.
Below are a few key items from throughout the week:
Preseason Opponent Preview: 2021 opponent preview: Penn State Nittany Lions
Matchup to Watch: Matchup to Watch: Jahan Dotson vs. Iowa’s Secondary
Game Preview: Iowa Football Opponent Preview: Penn State
Staff Predictions: The Pants Predicts: #3 Iowa vs #4 Penn State
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Black Heart Gold Pants podcast feed. You can catch a fresh episode of The Pants Party and the All Eyes Podcast every week with game recaps, previews and everything in between. And be sure to check in immediately following each game as we give our instant reaction and quick recap of every Iowa game this season on the After Party. Subscribe below!
In addition to the national broadcast on FOX, the network is hosting its Saturday morning college football kickoff show, Big Noon Saturday, live from the Pentacrest in downtown Iowa City. Coverage begins at 9am CT.