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Thread: Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

      
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    Default Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/...owa-penn-state

    Don't be fooled by the identical 3-1 records or the handful of spots separating the two teams in the national rankings.

    Iowa and Penn State are in two different places as they prepare to open Big Ten play Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium.

    The Hawkeyes know exactly who they are. They boast strong senior leadership, a three-year starter at quarterback in Ricky Stanzi, a star-studded defensive line and a large portion of the roster that has been time-tested and knows how to win tough games.

    There are parts of the team still evolving, most notably the offensive line, but Iowa has many more answers than questions. Remove a very sloppy first half against Arizona, and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponents 137-21 and looked dominant for long stretches. And despite the loss to Arizona, Iowa maintains very realistic hopes of winning a Big Ten title.

    The Nittany Lions, meanwhile, are still figuring out who they are in 2010. They took a big step toward establishing their identity at the end of Saturday's win against Temple, playing lock-down defense and putting together a confidence-building 96-yard touchdown drive. But anyone who watched the Temple game knows Penn State remains a work in progress.

    The Lions' offense is under the direction of a true freshman, Rob Bolden, who has shown both his immense potential and his young age from game to game and drive to drive. Leadership is still evolving, and Penn State keeps looking for greater consistency in all areas, particularly red zone offense. The Lions certainly have the talent to challenge the Big Ten's best, but to do so, they'll need to take a big step this week.

    Iowa enters Saturday night's game with most of the advantages: home field, more leadership, a veteran defense facing a freshman quarterback, to name a few. And you can't discount Iowa's recent success against Penn State: the Hawkeyes have won seven of the teams' past eight meetings. Iowa seems to have Penn State's number right now.

    But there's hope for Joe Paterno and the Lions.

    This time, they're the underdogs.

    Iowa wore the underdog tag masterfully in each of the last two seasons. Both times, an unranked Hawkeyes team stunned a Penn State squad ranked in the top 5. Both times, Penn State entered the game with more experience and fewer question marks, but came out on the losing end.

    It's a little different this year, as both teams enter the game ranked, and both have losses to top 15 squads. But few will predict Penn State to beat Iowa at Kinnick. All the pressure is on the Hawkeyes to defend their turf and remain in Rose Bowl contention.

    The reversal of roles could help Penn State, especially if Iowa makes early mistakes like it did at Arizona. Penn State's defense can be as suffocating as any in the Big Ten, and Lions senior running back Evan Royster broke out of his slump against Temple.

    If Iowa can pull off upsets in the series, why can't Penn State?

    A win Saturday night would go a long way toward shaping the identity of the 2010 Nittany Lions.

    I still can't watch that 2008 game when it comes on during a highlight package or on the B10 Ntwk. I'd rather get punched in the nuts.

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    Default Re: Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

    Iowa enters Saturday night's game with most of the advantages: home field, more leadership, a veteran defense facing a freshman quarterback, to name a few.
    I worry more about our OL trying to handle their DL more than I worry about our QB. Especailly since we lost one of our best two OL for the season.

    I'm afriad this is not going to be pretty.

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    Default Re: Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sodfather View Post
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    I worry more about our OL trying to handle their DL more than I worry about our QB. Especailly since we lost one of our best two OL for the season.

    I'm afriad this is not going to be pretty.

    Our O-line will get manhandled worse than when Kipper's creepy Uncle Friendlyhands would come to visit him.

    We need to do a gameplan with quick drops and quick passes, screens and slants with a few deep balls mixed in to keep them honest. I have no faith in us having a good gameplan, but that's what I would do.

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    Default Re: Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

    I agree with your gameplan but at some point you have to be able to block those guys and I have little faith we can handle their front 4. Which is among the best in the country.I have zero faith in our ability to run the ball on them.

    Of course, we did move the ball on Bama so there is some hope. I guess.

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    Default Re: Roles have reversed for Iowa, Penn State

    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay industries View Post
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    Our O-line will get manhandled worse than when Kipper's creepy Uncle Friendlyhands would come to visit him.

    .
    I agree completely.

    Oh I forgot... Penn State
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