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Penn State Nittany Lions Battle Iowa Hawkeyes In Big Ten Opener For Both Schools

On a perfect-weather-for-football Saturday in October, Joe and the boys head to Iowa to take on Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Both teams dropped a game in their out-of-conference schedule, with Iowa losing to the Arizona Wildcats and Penn State losing in Week Two to Alabama.

The Hawkeyes enter this game as the favorites, behind the leadership of quarterback Ricky Stanzi and a stellar defense. Previously this week, Adam outlined the Top Five keys to victory for the Nittany Lions. All five will have to be true for the Lions to have a chance against this tough Hawkeye team.

The Nittany Lions will be traveling without two of their young stars, Sean Stanley and Derrick Thomas, due to the ever-vague "violation of team rules." Add to that the season ending injury to tackle Lou Eliades and the Lions will have their hands full all day. Iowa has had Penn State's number in the past few meetings, but the underdog has pulled off some thrilling upsets in this series, a trend Penn State hopes to continue today.

Following a 187-yard breakout against Temple, Evan Royster now stands 184 yards away from Penn State's all-time rushing record. The coaching staff will look to go to Royster (and backups Stephfon Green and Silas Redd) early and often to take some of the pressure off of freshman quarterback Robert Bolden.

Head over to Black Shoe Diaries to check out their Q&A Session with Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants and their staff predictions. Also, for those fans living in the Pittsburgh area, head to the Allstar Bar and Grille in Robinson to watch the game with the Pittsburgh chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Yours truly will be in attendance cheering the Lions on to victory!

SBN Pittsburgh staff prediction - Penn State 23, Iowa 22 (on a last-second Colin Wagner field goal)

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.