Published: Sun, September 24, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Nittany Lions gear up for Big Ten opener in unfamiliar environs

Nittany Lions gear up for Big Ten opener in unfamiliar environs

On the final play of the game, the Penn State QB hit Juwan Johnson in the back of the end zone, giving the Nittany Lions a 21-19 win, preserving an unbeaten record.

Linebacker Josey Jewell says the confluence of football under the lights and the challenge presented by a top-level opponent seems to bring out the best in the Hawkeyes. CBS will be doing the TV coverage while the game can be watched online live on fuboTV.

In that span, the Nittany Lions will host No. 8 Michigan in a "white-out" night contest on October 21, then visit No. 10 Ohio State on October 28 and the east's other consistent threat, Michigan State, on November 4.

The guess here is McSorley is going to be under a good bit of pressure tonight, with Iowa loading up the box to stop the run but also disguising some blitzes to force the quarterback to make quick decisions in the passing game.

But with Trace McSorley being as good as he has been in recent weeks, and Saquon Barkley being as quick and inhuman as always, this offense is very hard to halt.

But as some tougher defenses loom on the Penn State schedule in the Big Ten, it may be challenging for Barkley to continue his Heisman-chasing numbers.

That's good news for the Hawkeyes, who'll need Wadley's playmaking ability in order to pull off the home upset.

Still, Penn State is a 12-point favorite for a reason. McSorley then led a 12-play, 80-yard drive to keep Penn State unbeaten. Before that, the Hawkeyes took a 19-15 lead on a 35-yard touchdown run by Akrum Wadley with 1:42 on the clock.

Penn State Nittany Lions safety Marcus Allen (2) returns the ball after making an interception against the Georgia State Panthers during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State can hurt most defenses when McSorley has time to set his feet in the pocket, or time to run around and let things develop downfield. Here's what we learned from Saturday night's instant classic.

Iowa has won its last three home games against top-five teams, including last season's 14-13 win over the Wolverines. Well, a couple of Penn State turnovers certainly helped, as did eight Penn State penalties.

The key piece over the rest of the year will be tight end Mike Gesicki, who has NFL-caliber talent yet only had 25 yards on Saturday.

And that was Penn State's story just a few years ago.

Four of Penn State's singles players went a combined 1-4 Friday at the UPenn Invitational.

PSU is now 7-2 on the season and 3-0 in Big Ten play.

At halftime, Iowa leads No. 4 Penn State 7-5.

"Whether it's the first play of the game or the last play of the game, if we're losing or winning, if it's raining or it's sunny, we are going to fight for every inch and every yard on the field and for every second on the clock", said Franklin about calling timeout late in last week's 56-0 win over Georgia State to get proper field-goal defense on the field.

Starter Akrum Wadley will play this week after leaving that game early, but his counterpart, James Butler, will be out until at least mid-October.

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