CFB Week 6 Preview – Penn State @ Iowa 21:00 UK Time (16:00 EST). Week 6 of college football includes some huge Conference match-ups. Arkansas @ Ole Miss, Okalhoma @ Texas, Georgia @ Auburn, Alabama @ Texas A&M. By the far the biggest game is the Big Ten, Top-4, match-up of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions.
For me this is easily the best game of the week. ESPN’s College Gameday has made a big mistake by travelling to Austin to cover the Texas and Oklahoma game. Expect a low scoring game, where every yard will be a hard fought gain. Both teams have incredibly strong defenses. Iowa’s defense has conceded an average of just 11.6 points per game so far. While Penn State’s defense has concede an average of just 12 points per game so far. The Hawkeye’s and Nittany Lions are the nation’s No.2 and No.3 scoring defenses.
Undrafted’s Fascinating Facts
- Its the first meeting of top-5 teams in Kinnick Stadium since 1985
- The match-up will also be the first in the Big Ten featuring a pair of top-5 teams without including either Ohio State or Michigan since 1962
The Iowa defense is an absolute menace with an insane amount of turnovers. They got 3 turnovers against Indiana, 4 against Iowa State and 7 against Maryland, 6 of which were interceptions. Throughout the season they’ve been very stingy, with opposing offenses finding it difficult to score points. The most points they’ve allowed in a game was 17 against their in-state opponent, Iowa State. A player could make a big difference in the game on the Hawkeye defense is Safety, Dane Belton. With Penn States run game not getting off to the best of starts, they may be forced to go pass heavy in this game. Which could lead to Belton being targeted more often. PFF has gave him a grade of 73 for his efforts so far. He’s a player with a nose for the ball, intercepting it 3 times and returning it to the house 2 times.
Saturday will really be a test of this offense’s mettle. It’ll be the first time that they’ll have played a solid defense. Many have called this Hawkeye offense below average, being helped out by the defense giving them great field position. The offense is ranked last in the Big Ten and coming against the 2nd best Redzone defense in the Nation, Petras and his team will find it hard to put points on the board. However in saying that, they played fairly well against Maryland. Gaining 445 total yards of offense, 283 in the air and 162 on the ground. With 6 offensive TD’s, it was by far their best offensive showing of the year.
The Penn State offense has certainly got over that poor showing in the 1st game of the season against Wisconsin. Where PFF gave them a grade of 57.8! This grade was due in part to Clifford of completing 54.5% of this throws and the run game only being able to gather a measly 63 yards. They had a solid offensive output against Ball State, Auburn and Villanova but took a slight back-step against Indiana. A slight concern Nittany Lion fans will have in their offense is that they only convert 36% of the time on 3rd down.
Much like Iowa, Penn State has a standout defense on all fronts. With 7 sacks and 7 interceptions in their 5 games. They’re just off the back of a shutout against Indiana. Where PFF awarded them a grade of 79. One of my favorite players in College Football who could make a huge impact in this game is DE Arnold Ebiketie. PFF has grave him an incredible grade of 87 through the season. He’s pressured the opposition QB 22 times. While sacking them 3 times. This 6’3″ 255 lb unit is a monster on the field!
Undrafted’s Iowa Talent Watch – Matt Hankins CB
A standout player on the Hawkeye defense is the versatile Cornerback Matt Hankins. Throughout the season he’s been targeted 20 times in the pass game and made 2 INT’s. As mentioned Hankins is an all-round player. PFF has graded him a 88 in Coverage and 87 in Tackling. With a 87.1 overall through the season. Hankins has not missed a single tackle so far in the season!
Undrafted’s Penn State Talent Watch – Jahan Dotson WR
A player who has really came into the spotlight on Nittany Lions offense is WR Jahan Dotson. Much like the rest of his teammates, he had a slow start to the season against Wisconsin. Only achieving a PFF grade of 63.7. Although since that game he’s hit the ground running. Cementing himself in Heisman discussion. Dotson is clearly Sean Clifford’s favorite target with 446 yards through 35 receptions, he’s averaging 12.7 yards per catch. He’s also got 6 TD’s on the season with 2 last week against Indiana. Find out where fellow writer Alex placed him in his mock draft here.
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Week 6 Preview – Penn State @ Iowa