Night games in Kinnick Stadium are tricky for national title contenders, but the Hawkeyes' biggest upsets have tended to come later in the season, in or just before November.
With Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley, Penn State also has seen big contributions from tight end Mike Gesicki and receivers DaeSean Hamilton and DeAndre Thompkins.
"We've had the right mentality in there when (opponents) get a few first downs", linebacker Brandon Smith said. Somehow, some way and Iowa has the 7-5 lead at the break. On the flip side, Penn State has looked spectacular against three schools in Akron, Pitt and Georgia State that may win 10 games between the three of them. Some of that has been because the Lions' defense toughened up, but in other situations it's been the opposing offenses making big mistakes, dropping passes or just not having enough playmakers.
A field goal plus Barkley's eight-yard scoring scamper helped propel Penn State back in front by eight midway through the third quarter. Both games will be at the Iowa Soccer Complex. As long as we come out with a win. If the Nittany Lions are to beat the rest of the stiff competition in the Big Ten East, special teams will likely continue to be a huge factor. Iowa's Nate Stanley has averaged 218 yards passing per game with 10 touchdowns and only one interception. "It's got to be a full defensive team game for both teams".
"Obviously, [Ohio State and Penn State are] huge defensive games for us", senior defender Corey Burns said.
And yet, for all of Barkley's brilliance, the Nittany Lions couldn't establish a big lead that allowed them to pull away.
In the last encounter between the two teams, Penn State gave the Hawkeyes nightmares with a 41-14 win in 2016, at Beaver Stadium.
Iowa: No way the Hawkeyes have much of a chance unless QB Stanley plays very well.
Meeting expectations in terms of atmosphere shouldn't be a problem.
Miller made the first hit on Akrum Wadley in the end zone that led to a safety for Penn State midway through the second quarter. Instead of being negative, it's about being positive. MSU's Fitzgerald is the best quarterback no one is talking about. Wadley might need to start trending again. This time, however, they used their cellphones to light up the night.
He just can't explain the phenomenon.
"You think you're good in high school, and you are good in high school", Barkley said.
This team knows how to control possession and the pace of the game through the usage of different running backs and offensive packages.
"It's definitely the fans", Jewell said. A Nittany Lion service error followed by a kill from Kelsey O'Neill brought up two set points for the Hawkeyes, who finished the set on the 13th kill of the night from Claire Sheehan.
"The sooner you can get to the point where you can game plan to attack a defense or have our defense attack an offense, and scheme to gain an advantage, it's really helpful".