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Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Iowa

Penn State football (0-4) will return home Saturday to take on Iowa (2-2) at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions are still searching for their first win of the season after losing to Nebraska last week. The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, are coming off back-to-back dominant wins over Michigan State and Minnesota, 49-7 and 35-7, respectively.

With Penn State attempting to avoid starting 0-5 for the first time ever, our staff has some mixed feelings on the outcome of this one.

Frankie Marzano (1-3): Penn State 28, Iowa 24

As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I think that the Nittany Lions will finally grab their first win if Will Levis is in at quarterback. I like Sean Clifford and I think he’s a good QB, but he obviously isn’t playing to the best of his ability right now. Penn State likely wouldn’t see different results if it keeps doing what it’s been doing for the past four weeks.

The Nittany Lions are also trying to avoid being the first team to go 0-5 in program history. I think that will play a factor in how hard the team plays. We also saw a lot of great plays last week. The young core of running backs stepped up huge against the Nebraska defense, while the wide receivers were also able to make so many great grabs. There are reasons for optimism, folks.

Matt Rudisill (1-3): Iowa 31, Penn State 24

Iowa is absolutely rolling right now, recording monster wins over Michigan State and Minnesota in consecutive weeks after dropping two tight games to open its season. Also, Iowa’s opponents have not topped 24 points in each of the Hawkeyes’ first four games.

With Penn State in free fall, I don’t even think a potential quarterback change will be enough to beat this surprising Hawkeyes team.

Connor Donohue (1-3): Iowa 69, Penn State 0

Iowa blows out the Nittany Lions. I have no reason. 

Connor Krause (0-4): Penn State 31, Iowa 28

Behind the arm and athleticism of presumed starting quarterback Will Levis, the Nittany Lions will win in a nail-bitter to avoid an 0-5 start for the first time in program history.

The rejuvenated offense will pick up where it left off last week against Nebraska, as the running game centered around Devyn Ford and Keyvone Lee should relieve pressure off the passing game. I predict Penn State’s defense to take advantage of Iowa’s young quarterback Spencer Petras and to hold the opposing offense to under 30 points for the first time this season.

Samuel Brungo (1-3): Penn State 27, Iowa 26

Guys, I just don’t know. With the way these first few games have played out, I have no idea what to expect from this team this weekend. I feel like Penn State needs that first game, and I figured that it would come last week but the offense just couldn’t find the end zone when it needed it most.

I think Will Levis will have a good game in the air and an equally good game on the ground. If the offense doesn’t step up and put points on the board, the Nittany Lions will find themselves 0-5. I’m hoping the defense brings the same intensity we’ve seen in the second half so far this season right out of the gate.

Penn State wins on a two-point conversion in overtime. State by one.

Gabe Angieri (1-3): Iowa 28, Penn State 16

Penn State is a bad football team, and there’s really no reason to think that will change this Saturday. Slow starts have been a theme for the Nittany Lions, and I think that will continue against Iowa.

No matter who starts at quarterback, the Nittany Lions will fall behind early on and find themselves down by double-digits at halftime due to a slow start on offense and some big plays allowed on defense. Sound familiar? Probably, because that’s happened in pretty much every game so far this season.

Penn State will play better in the second half but ultimately lose by two scores to drop to 0-5 for the first time in program history.

Ryan Parsons (0-4): Penn State 27, Iowa 24

Do I have to choose? Seriously, I have no idea who is going to win this game. I’m going with Penn State just because they have to win eventually, right? Maybe Will Levis will come out of the gate looking sharp and have himself a day. Maybe the defense will hold things down in the first half and give Penn State a shot to win. Maybe a lot of things will happen. It should be a fun game nonetheless, as it will likely come down to the wire either way.

Will Pegler (1-3): Iowa 31, Penn State 23

James Franklin hasn’t lost to Iowa during his tenure in Happy Valley, but that’s going to change on Saturday.

I hate to say it, but Penn State’s defense is bad and is going to struggle against a new and improved Iowa rushing attack. Tyler Goodson has been the engine that makes the Hawkeyes’ offense go, and he’ll stay hot against the Nittany Lions’ front seven. Along with veteran rusher Mehki Sargent, I expect Kirk Ferentz’s squad to put up points early and often against Penn State (just like the rest of the Big Ten has).

As for Penn State’s offense, be ready for Will Levis to get the start. While I expect the group to play hard for its new starting signal-caller, they’re not going to be able to keep up with Iowa. In fact, I expect a last-minute drive to fall just short of the end zone for the Nittany Lions, and they’ll fall to 0-5 in heartbreaking fashion.

This has been a brutal season for Penn State, why expect anything to change now?

Matt DiSanto (2-2): Iowa 34, Penn State 17

After a disastrous 0-4 start, what more do you need to hear? Penn State stinks.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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