Penn State

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

Iowa City will be the epicenter of college football this weekend, as No. 3 Iowa and No. 4 Penn State meet at Kinnick Stadium with Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff berths potentially on the line.

Unfortunately for Hawkeye fans, they may not walk out of Kinnick happy Saturday night.

Excluding the unusual, COVID-19-laced 2020 season, the Hawkeyes have lost their last six games against the Nittany Lions, dating back to 2011.

Some of the losses Iowa has suffered to Penn State likely scarred Hawkeye fans, coaches, and players alike.

For instance, when Iowa played Penn State at Kinnick Stadium in 2017, then-Nittany Lion and now-Baltimore Raven quarterback Trace McSorely threw a touchdown to now-New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson as the final seconds of the fourth quarter ticked away.

Following the McSorely-Johnson touchdown, the scoreboard read 21-19 in favor of Penn State and no time was left on the game clock.

The scar tissue left from Iowa’s loss to Penn State at Kinnick in 2017 can’t be overlooked, nor can the Nittany Lions’ winning trend  in six of the last seven Iowa-Penn State games.

My brain tells me to pick the Nittany Lions to win the game, but my gut tells me to go with the Hawkeyes — I’ve trusted my brain picking games all season, and it’s paid off.

Per my math, I’m the best game-picker on The Daily Iowan staff so far this year, as I sit atop the overall standings in our “On the Line” game picks that can be found in our weekly football Pregame edition.

So, this week, I’m sticking to the formula and picking the team I think is the best, not the team I feel better about. The Nittany Lions won’t just cover the 2.5-point spread, they’ll win outright on Saturday.

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