October 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM
Silence the crowd
Penn State has played two road games in 2012, but they weren't anything like the team will see on Saturday night. Iowa and Penn State don't particularly like each other and neither do the teams' fan bases. Kinnick Stadium is going to be packed, and its going to be raucous. The Nittany Lions can practice with all the pumped in music at practice they want, but it's impossible to mirror what they'll face Saturday night. There is one way Penn State can deal with the crowd during the game — quiet them. An early touchdown or two, coupled with some three-and-outs by Penn State's defense wouldn't give Hawkeye faithful much to cheer about.
Protect the rock
Penn State's offense has turned the ball over only three times, but Iowa's defense is averaging nearly two takeaways per game this season. It seems something has to give. On paper, Penn State's defense has the clear advantage against the Hawkeyes — especially with running back Mark Weisman doubtful. But Iowa's has the ability to create turnovers and set up its offense with a short field or even score points of its own.
Keep Iowa out of field goal range
While Penn State has had kicking woes all season, field goals have not been a problem for Iowa. Kicker Mike Meyer is nearly automatic for the Hawkeyes, as he has connected on 14 of 15 field goal attempts this season. Iowa may have trouble moving the ball without Weisman, but just to get the ball near Penn State's 30-yard line would put Meyer in range. And three points could go a long way Saturday night in Kinnick Stadium.