Penn State will have their work cut out for them this Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Both teams have been dominant on defense this season and that trend figures to continue this weekend. There have been flashes of their defenses, but Penn State could really come out on top in this defensive battle.
Here are the defensive keys to Penn State beating Iowa on Saturday.
Penn State Secondary
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Iowa’s offense is productive, but they are also capable of being stopped. There isn’t really an area that sticks out more than the other. Iowa’s passing game is productive. However, Penn State’s secondary is more than capable of preventing any big plays in that area. Penn State’s secondary has excelled on creating turnovers this season just about every starting player in that area has collected an interception this season.
Big Defensive Stops Early
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As mentioned, Penn State has done a stellar job creating turnovers against opponents. Iowa is certainly not a team to mess around with and there are probably people out there that still aren’t taking them seriously. Creating turnovers will be a crucial factor in this game for the Nittany Lions to overtake the momentum on the road.
Pressuring Spencer Petras
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Sure, Petras isn’t your Bryce Young or Carson Strong. But, he is still a very productive quarterback. Like Sean Clifford, we have also seen games where Petras has struggled to extend plays and adapt under deep pressure. He has also been sacked 11 times this season and for guys like PJ Mustipher and Brandon Smith to each turn it on and be big playmakers throughout this game, that would be a huge momentum switch for the Nittany Lions. Both teams have a productive offense, but their defense is where they flourish. However, if Penn State can perform these key components effectively, they have a strong chance at winning this game.