No. 4 Penn State to clash with 3-0 Iowa

Penn State's rocky road to the College Football Playoff

The fourth-ranked Nittany Lions (3-0) are riding a remarkable run -- their lone loss since then coming against USC in the Rose Bowl -- but their first real test this season comes Saturday night against Iowa (3-0) at Kinnick Stadium to open Big Ten play. But people were stunned, deflated and drained after the Penn State Nittany Lions scored on the last play of the game to escape with a 21-19 victory over Iowa.

The Hawkeyes winning this game would be like Iowa State making a bowl game, so, not very likely.

Barkley shredded the Hawkeyes front seven with several of his signature jump-cuts, hurdles and hesitation moves en route to a career-high 211 rushing yards, marking the first time since the opener against Akron that he cracked the century mark.

This will be Franklin's first visit to Iowa State, and the coach was asked several questions this week about getting his team ready in Kinnick Stadium's famous visiting locker room, slathered in a shade called "innocence pink".

It obviously hasn't hurt the Lions so far, but usually reliable placekicker Tyler Davis has missed two of his four field goal tries this season, both from 39 yards.

Penn State is the better team, they should win Saturday night but Iowa loves to play spoiler in this series.

Ferentz said Tuesday the plan is to utilize all three running backs Akrum Wadley, Toren Young, and Ivory Kelly-Martin against the Nittany Lions.

They distilled the answer to varying Barkley's touches, which meant adding pass plays and kickoff returns to his workload. Earlier in the quarter, Wadley and quarterback Nathan Stanley hooked up for a 70-yard touchdown pass. Penn State is also 2-0-1 against the spread in those games, yet it hitting the road for the first time tonight.

"We're disappointed with the loss", Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

After watching Penn State steamroll his Hawkeyes 41-14 past year, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz knows his team's margin for error will be tiny.

"That game is illustrative of what it takes to win in the conference", Ferentz said. Saquon Barkley accounted for 211 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa past year in the trashing in Happy Valley.

Iowa led 7-5 at halftime when a Josey Jewell interception set up a Stanley to Nick Easley touchdown catch with just 37 seconds left in the first half.

Smith made his name at Beaver Stadium with that game, and earned his spot for a pair of starts against MI and Maryland. That was a night running back Akrum Wadley began trending after he compiled 167 total yards.

Barkley caught 28 passes a year ago, the most memorable in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. They'll put the game away in the 4th quarter, when the Hawkeyes defense is worn down. Gabrielle Orr dished out 45 assists for Iowa who dropped to 12-3 (1-1 Big Ten) on the year. "It will be a couple weeks before we get him back". While he doesn't get much attention - and not many really expected him to be a starter at the beginning of the season - Apke had himself a fine night.

RING DAY: Members of last season's Iowa baseball team received their Big Ten tournament championship rings Saturday prior to a fall exhibition game against the Ontario Blue Jays.