The Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Sports

November 7, 2008

No. 3 Penn State faces final road game at Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — When No. 3 Penn State views Iowa on film, it probably thinks it’s looking in the mirror.

Well, maybe a poorly lit one.

The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes, who meet Saturday in Penn State’s final road game, share a similar roadmap to success: run the ball, play strong defense and control the clock.

Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) is just doing it better than Iowa — or anyone else, for that matter.

The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in rushing offense and scoring defense, ranking fourth nationally at just 11.1 points allowed per game. The Hawkeyes (5-4, 2-3), losers of four games by a total of just 12 points, feature the nation’s third-leading rusher in Shonn Greene and they rank seventh in the country at 13.2 points allowed per game.

Throw in a forecast of a cold and windy conditions for Iowa City and it has all the makings of a classic Big Ten tussle — one where style points might be hard to come by.

“How the Iowa game is going to turn out, I don’t know,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “But if you think I’m looking back and saying, ’Well, gee, holy smokes, we didn’t score 50 points,’ you’re nuts.”’

For Penn State, all the talk this week was about how No. 2 Texas Tech jumped them in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, setting up a possible scenario in which the unbeaten Nittany Lions get shut out of the national championship yet again.

But remember, Penn State has to keep winning before they can even worry about it. This week Paterno avoided the issue, choosing instead to focus on the task at hand.

“I haven’t got the slightest idea what the BCS — is it the BCS or the BSC? I don’t know,” Paterno said. “I’m telling you what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about Iowa. Period.”

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