If they can find success on the ground against the Nittany Lions, wearing down the defense and keeping the Penn State offense on the sideline, the Hawkeyes could put themselves in a position to pull off the upset at the end of the game. Although, with Heisman runner Saquon Barkley, the nation's best RB, is going to be the number one threat.
Then, quarterback Trace McSorley, battered all night, found the groove he showed so often last season.
"The game's about more points than the other team, " Ferentz said. But, Barkley has nearly been more of a factor in the passing game than on the ground this season, which has made him an even more risky weapon than he was in seasons past.
This season, Barkley has accounted for 300+ yards on 38 attempts with three touchdowns.
Penn State got a few yards on first down but was stuffed on second and third. Probably because it was a lower-tier team and didn't want to risk an injury. Gameday has since chosen to overtake Times Square in New York City where people may not be aware the state has any college football teams. 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. There is no inbetween.
"Whether they are really loud or a crowd that isn't that big and isn't that into a game, you know each can have their own challenges", Smith said, "but we have our standard".
Josey Jewell vs Saquon Barkley - We've already mentioned the success and dominance of Barkley. The cliche isn't far from the truth: Iowa football is about corn-fed farm boys who can knock the other guys backward.
Penn State has won its past three conference road games - at Purdue, Rutgers and IN - after not claiming a single away victory through five straight Big Ten games IN 2014-15.
The Nittany Lions are better than Iowa.
The stats are incredibly good for Penn State's defense in the early stages of the season, but nobody is confusing them for the defenses owned by Clemson or MI. What's different is that they're scoring at a much higher clip (33 point per game) -at least early on- than they did in 2016 (24.9 points per). Although with this game being quite out of reach for a win, that's what we said against MI in 2016. Penn State has won and covered the spread in three straight meetings with Iowa.
It has been one year since Penn State's last regular-season loss, a 49-10 rout to MI in Week 4 of 2016.
But the legacy of Kinnick night games could pose problems for the Nittany Lions, especially considering what happened past year when Michigan's College Football Playoff hopes faded after losing at Iowa in Week 10.
Do I have faith? Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley has been safe and efficient with his passing (10 TDs, 1 INT, 61.4 completion percentage), and he will have to continue playing that kind of game to keep Iowa close. Go Hawks, this will hopefully be one for the books.