Penn State Looks to Keep Momentum Going When it Hosts Iowa Saturday Night

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The lights will be on again in Beaver Stadium as Penn State hosts the defending Big Ten West champions, Iowa, in a primetime clash set for 7:30 p.m. on BTN.

(Photo of Trace McSorley. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Penn State will carry a trio of winning streaks into the contest. It has won its last four straight overall and all five at home this season. The Nittany Lions have also claimed the last two meetings against the Hawkeyes.

At 4-1 in Big Ten games, Penn State sits second in the East Division standings, holding a tiebreaker over Ohio State, which is also 4-1. Iowa is looking to breakout of a four-way tie for second in the West Division with a 3-2 record.
Iowa will be Penn State’s third and final Big Ten crossover opponent this season. The Nittany Lions rallied for an overtime win over Minnesota (Oct. 1), and most recently returned from Purdue, where they won 62-24.

Led by Saquon Barkley, Penn State outscored Purdue 45-7 in the second half. Barkley posted career highs with 207 rushing yards and 277 (207 rushing, 70 receiving) all-purpose yards, setting a sophomore record in the latter category. With 888 yards on the season, he leads the Big Ten and is poised for his second 1,000-yard rushing season in as many years.

Iowa enters the game coming off of a bye week after falling to current No. 8 Wisconsin, 9-17, at home in its most recent outing. The Hawkeyes rose as high as No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches poll in September. They are led on defense by Desmond King, the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, and Josey Jewell, who ranks second in the Big Ten in tackles per game.

The game will be Penn State’s fifth annual “Seats for Servicemembers” game. The program honors the commitment and sacrifices of veterans, families and loved ones by providing tickets at no cost to active and retired Servicemembers, as well as a complimentary pregame tailgate at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State supporters, alumni, and business donations have graciously made this possible. Made possible by Penn State supporters, 7,500 tickets were made available for military members and veterans, their families and loved ones.


  • Kirk Ferentz is in his 18th season as head football coach and 27th season overall at Iowa.
  • Ferentz led the 2015 Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season, setting a school record with 12 wins (12-2), and earning a Rose Bowl appearance.
  • Ferentz was recognized with both the Hayes-Schembecher and Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year awards. He was named Eddie Robinson (FWAA) and Woody Hayes National Coach of the Year, and received the Dodd Trophy, presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation.
  • Ferentz has guided Iowa to 13 bowl appearances in 17 seasons. His six bowl victories put him in a tie for third all-time among Big Ten coaches.
  • Ferentz attended Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh and graduated from Connecticut in 1978. He was a football captain and an Academic All-Yankee Conference linebacker at UConn.


  • Iowa is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Big Ten play with a 3-0 record on the road (Rutgers, Minnesota, Purdue).
  • The Hawkeyes enter the game following a bye week.
  • Iowa’s rushing attack is led by Akrum Wadley and Leshun Daniels Jr., who rank seventh (636) and eighth (624), respectively, in the Big Ten for rushing yards. They have combined for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground.
  • CB Desmond King is the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back. King is the only Thorpe winner ever to play a college season after winning the award.
  • King also leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in FBS with a 32.0-yard kickoff return average this season.
  • Iowa is strong in the red zone on both sides of the ball, ranking second in the conference in both defense (.696) and offense (.926). The percentages rank fifth and 11th in FBS, respectively.
  • LB Josey Jewell ranks second in the Big Ten averaging 9.6 tackles per game. He matched his career high with 16 stops against Wisconsin in his most recent outing.
  • Iowa ranks second in FBS and first in the Big Ten with just five turnovers lost.


  • Penn State is ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll for week 10.
  • Penn State is ranked in both polls for the first time since week 15 of the 2011 season.
  • Penn State’s No. 20 ranking in the AP poll is its highest since being ranked in the same spot during week 13 of the 2011 season.
  • Penn State’s No. 23 ranking in the Coaches Poll is its highest since being ranked in the same spot during week 15 of the 2011 season.
  • Following a thrilling comeback win over No. 2 Ohio State Saturday night in the Penn State White Out, the Nittany Lions entered the Associated Press Top 25 in the 24th slot. It marked the first time that Penn State has been ranked since week 15 of the 2011 season.


  • The Nittany Lions are 5-0 at home for the second-straight season and the fifth time since 2000 (2005, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016). The Nittany Lions started 6-0 at home last season.
  • The Nittany Lions spent most of October in Happy Valley, playing their longest stretch of home games this season and the longest since Penn State played five in a row at home early last season.
  • A three-game homestand began with an overtime win over Minnesota (Oct. 1) and continued with a win over Maryland (Oct. 8), an off-week and a comeback win over then-No. 2 Ohio State.
  • Dating back to last season, Penn State has won 11 out of its last 12 home games.
  • The Nittany Lions have two home games remaining: Iowa (Nov. 5) and Michigan State (Nov. 26).


  • After playing two games at night in 2015, Penn State will play at least three this season.
  • The Iowa game will be Penn State’s first nighttime regular season game in November since Nov. 14, 1987 at Pitt, and the game against Rutgers (Nov. 19) will be the latest regular season night game since Nov. 23, 1985 at Pitt.
  • It will be the first time Penn State has played two primetime games in November.
  • Penn State opened its primetime slate with its annual White Out game against Ohio State. It was the eighth primetime clash since 2005 and the fifth consecutive.
  • Penn State rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter against then-No. 2 Ohio State to improve its night game record to 43-29 overall and going 11-10 at home. The Nittany Lions are 20-12 on the road, 1-1 at regular season neutral sites and 11-6 in bowl games.
  • This year marks the ninth time since 2000 that Penn State will play multiple night games in the same season (Ohio State, Iowa, at Rutgers).
  • This season marks the 16th consecutive Penn State will play at least one regular season night game.
  • The Lions’ night games over the past 15 seasons include: Ohio State (2016), Ohio State and Rutgers (2015), Boston College (Pinstripe Bowl), Ohio State, Michigan and Rutgers (2014); Ohio State, Michigan and UCF (2013); Iowa and Ohio State (2012); Northwestern (2011); Alabama, Iowa and Michigan (2010); Iowa (2009); Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio State (2008); Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas A&M (2007), Michigan (2006), Illinois, Ohio State and Florida State (2005), Minnesota and Boston College (2004), Nebraska (2002 and `03), Miami (Fla.) (2001) and Indiana (2000).
  • On Oct. 12, 2013, the Nittany Lions claimed the longest game in Big Ten history when they edged Michigan under the lights, 43-40, in front of a sellout Beaver Stadium crowd of 107,844 on Homecoming.
  • The first night game in Beaver Stadium was Sept. 6, 1986, a 45-15 season-opening win over Temple.


  • At 6-2, Penn State is off to its best start since starting 8-1 in 2011, and it is currently on a four-game winning streak, its longest since winning five straight in 2015.
  • Penn State has accomplished the feat against a tough schedule. The Nittany Lions eight opponents have a combined record of 42-24. Six have winning records.


  • Penn State became bowl eligible when it defeated Purdue for its sixth win of the season.
  • The Lions have appeared in 46 bowl games in program history, tied for ninth-highest among FBS schools at the start of the season.
  • Head coach James Franklin has guided his team to a bowl appearance in each of his six seasons as a head coach (3 at Vanderbilt; 3 at Penn State). He is one of 12 active FBS coaches to accomplish the feat and one of eight coaches to do so while at FBS programs.


  • Penn State defensive end Danny Joseph and Iowa defensive end Faith Ekakitie are brothers.
  • Iowa wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy was a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1992, where he worked with the tight ends.
  • Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz were both graduate assistants at Pitt. Ferentz was on staff in 1980 and Moorhead in 1998-99.


  • Former Penn State and NFL standout Matt Millen will be calling Saturday’s meeting between the Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes.
  • Millen earned first-team All-America honors as a junior in 1978, helping the unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions earn a berth vs. Alabama in the dramatic 1979 Sugar Bowl for the national title. Millen was a team co-captain in 1979, but missed most of his senior year with an injury. He also helped Penn State earn the first of two consecutive 11-1 records in 1977, capped by a win in the Fiesta Bowl.
  • The Oakland Raiders selected Millen the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft to begin a 12-year career that would see him earn four Super Bowl rings. Millen played for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1980-88), San Francisco 49ers (1989-90) and Washington Redskins (1991). He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1988.
  • Millen began his broadcasting career in 1992, working NFL games for CBS and then FOX. The Lehigh Valley native left broadcasting in 2001 and was team president of the Detroit Lions for the next eight years. Millen returned to broadcast booth as a college football and NFL analyst with ESPN and the NFL Network in 2009. He joined Fox Sports and BTN in 2015.


  • The Nittany Lions had 511 yards of total offense against the Boilermakers, marking the second time this season that Penn State has had more than 500 yards of offense. It’s the first time since 2013 that the Lions have had multiple 500-yard games in a season (Eastern Michigan, 574; Purdue, 501).
  • Penn State’s 524 yards of total offense against Maryland were the most since posting 574 against Eastern Michigan in 2013 and the most in a Big Ten game since having 546 yards against Indiana in 2012.
  • It was the first game with 500 or more yards since the 2014 season opener vs. UCF (511).
  • Penn State has scored a touchdown on its first drive of the game in two of its last three contests (Maryland).
  • Penn State also scored a touchdown on its first drive of the second half against Purdue. The Nittany Lions had not scored a touchdown on their first drive of each half since 2013 against Wisconsin.
  • Penn State had five different players (Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, Andre Robinson, Miles Sanders, Mark
    Allen) score a touchdown in the same game for the first time since the Illinois game last season (Godwin, Geno Lewis, Christian Hackenberg, Barkley, Allen).
  • The Nittany Lions had six drives of less than 2:00 for the first time since 2002 in a 61-7 win over Michigan State at Beaver Stadium. Penn State had six drives of less than 2:00 against the Spartans.


  • Against Purdue, Penn State posted its fifth 30-plus point game of the season, its most since recording six 30-point outings in 2013.
  • Penn State’s 62 points scored at Purdue are the most for the Nittany Lions in a Big Ten game since scoring 63 against Illinois 2005. It is the third-highest point total in a Big Ten game in program history.
  • The 62 points scored against the Boilers are the most by a Penn State team in any game since topping Coastal Carolina, 66-10, in the season opener in 2008.
  • Penn State’s 62 points set a record for an opponent at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium, surpassing the 56 Ohio State scored in 2013. It also tied the most points any Purdue team has allowed anywhere, matching Wisconsin’s output from 2011.
  • The 24 points scored in the third quarter are the most by a Penn State team since scoring 28 in the second quarter against UMass in 2014.
  • The Nittany Lions’ 45 points scored in the second half are the most by a Penn State team in a half since scoring 56 in the first frame against Illinois in 2005.
  • Penn State’s 38-point win over Purdue is the largest margin of victory in a Big Ten game since the 39-0 win over Illinois last season.
  • Penn State had 28 points off of turnovers against Purdue. Entering the day, the Nittany Lions had 20 points off of turnovers for the season.
  • The 39 points scored by Penn State against Pitt were the most in a loss in program history. The previous mark was 35 against Iowa in a 2002 overtime game.


  • The 86 combined points in the Purdue game (62-24) were the second-most for a Penn State Big Ten game. The record is 90 set in a 59-31 win over Michigan State in 1994.
  • It is the most combined points for Penn State in a Big Ten road game and the most in a true road game overall since losing at Lehigh, 106-0, in 1889.
  • The 86 combined points were the most in a Penn State game since combining for 94 (W, 70-24) with Akron in 1999.
  • It marks the second time this season that Penn State has combined for more than 80 points in a game. Penn State and Pitt combined for 81 points (39-42) in September, the most in series history.


  • Penn State has drawn numerous accolades during its four-game winning streak.
  • Most recently, RB Saquon Barkley was named the CBS National Player of the Week and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following a 277 all-purpose yard and two touchdown performance against Purdue.
  • Barkley has won the Big Ten offensive weekly honor twice this season, also doing so after a win over Maryland. He is the first Lion since Daryll Clark in 2009 to win multiple Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors in the same season. Clark was a three-time honoree against Akron, Michigan and Michigan State.
  • This is the first time since 2009 that Penn State has had multiple Big Ten Offensive Players of the Week in the same year. The Nittany Lions have had at least one Big Ten weekly honoree each of their last four games, marking the second time in program history (2002) that Penn State has accomplished the feat.
  • The Football Writers Association of America and Athlon Sports both recognized Penn State as the National Team of the Week for defeating Ohio State.
  • The Nittany Lions claimed half of the weekly Big Ten accolades for a second consecutive game (Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, not including the bye week) after the win over Ohio State, as linebacker Brandon
    Bell was named the Defensive Player of the Week following an 18-tackle performance, and Marcus
    Allen and Grant Haley shared Special Teams Player of the Week honors after teaming up to block a field goal and return it for the game-winning touchdown, respectively.
  • A Nittany Lion claimed Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors following three consecutive games (Oct. 3-Oct. 24, bye week was Oct. 15). The feat was last accomplished in 2012 when Michael Mauti (Illinois), Gerald Hodges(Northwestern) and Jordan Hill (Iowa) garnered weekly plaudits.
  • Bell was also named the Bednarik Player of the Week.
  • Allen and Haley were the first Penn State players to win Special Teams Player of the Week since Sam Ficken was a two-time winner in 2014.
  • Haley was also named the Rose Bowl Big Ten Player of the Week, while Bell was named the College Sports Madness National Defensive Player of the Week.
  • Four Penn State coaches also earned awards following the Ohio State win.
  • The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl named James
    Franklin The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
  • Defensive coordinator Brent Pry was named the Defensive Coordinator of the Week by Athlon Sports.
  • Special teams coach Charles Huff and defensive line coach Sean Spencer
    were honored at their respective positions for the week by Coaching Search.
  • Pro Football Focus named T Brendan Mahon to its Team of the Week.
  • Barkley and junior linebacker Brandon Smith were selected as the Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, after outstanding performances in the win over Maryland.
  • The last time the Nittany Lions had both the Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week was in 2009 when Daryll Clark and Navorro Bowman won the awards after the Michigan State game.
  • Allen claimed the Oct. 3 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Rose Bowl Player of the Week after a 22-tackle performance against Minnesota.


  • Four of Penn State’s six wins this season were one possession games at halftime with the Nittany Lions trailing on two occasions.
  • On defense, Penn State has allowed a total of 37 third-quarter points through eight games this season, an average of 4.6 points in the third stanza.
  • Just 81 of the 216 points allowed by Penn State have been after halftime.
  • Penn State has shut out two teams in the second half: Kent State and Maryland.
  • On offense, Penn State has piled on the points more and more each quarter. It has totaled 41 points in the first quarter, 61 in the second, 71 in the third and 91 in the fourth.
  • Penn State outscored Purdue 45-7 in the second half.
  • The Nittany Lion offense ranks seventh in FBS in second half scoring (20.13) and eighth in fourth quarter scoring (11.25).
  • Penn State is seventh in FBS in second half scoring differential (+10.38) and fourth in fourth quarter scoring differential (+6.13).

Courtesy of SportSource Analytics


  • Penn State has earned 65 first downs on second down, which ranks third-best in FBS at 43.33 percent.
  • Of the 150 first downs Penn State has gained this year, just 24 have come on third down plays, which is the lowest percentage (16 percent) of any team in FBS.
  • Additionally, just 18.44 percent of Penn State’s plays this year have been third down plays, which is the 13th-lowest percent in FBS.

Courtesy SportSource Analytics

  • Penn State went 0-for-4 on third down in the second half against Purdue, but still outscored the Boilermakers, 45-7.
  • Penn State did convert its lone fourth down attempt in the second half.
  • The Lions have converted 66.7 percent of their fourth downs to rank 14th in FBS and third in the Big Ten.


  • Saquon Barkley is among the 18 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, given by the Maxwell Football Club to the National Player of the Year.
  • Penn State is tied for the national lead among all colleges and universities with its seven Maxwell Award winners.
  • Semifinalist voting will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 1 and will close on Nov. 21. Three finalists for each award will be announced on Nov. 22, 2016 and a second round of voting will take place at that time. Eligible voters include Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head football coaches, sports information directors and selected national media.
  • Barkley leads the Big Ten and is 20th nationally in rushing yards per game, averaging 111.0 yards per outing. He is also tops in the conference and 16th in FBS in total touchdowns with 11.
  • Barkley is a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week selection, earning the honor after the Maryland and Purdue games. He was also selected as the CBS Sports National Player of the Week after a career day at Purdue.


  • According to College Football Focus, Saquon Barkley is among the most difficult running backs to bring down in the country.
  • Barkley is sixth in the nation so far this season with 34 missed tackles on rushes.
  • Barkley is fifth in FBS in elusive rating (among RBs that have played 50 percent of team’s snaps) with a 89.9 mark. The elusive grading attempts to distill the impact of a runner with the ball independently of the blocking in front of him by looking at how hard he is to bring down.
  • Last season, Barkley eluded 60 tackles on rushes and had an elusive rating of 126.7.
  • The sophomore is also first in FBS in breakaway percentage, which is the percent of runs that are of 15 or more yards, with a 59.2 mark.
  • Barkley is averaging 3.81 yards after contact, which is tied for seventh in FBS.
  • Barkley has also shown improvement in his pass blocking game, ranking 16th in FBS with a 96.4 pass blocking efficiency rating.


  • Barkley ranks 19th on Penn State’s career rushing list with 1,964 yards and sits No. 21 on the career rushing touchdowns chart (17).
  • He set a sophomore single game record for all-purpose yards with 277 yards (207 rushing, 70 receiving) against Purdue. The mark is also 14th in program history.
  • Barkley ranks No. 14 with eight career 100-yard games (five in 2015, three in 2016), including two 200-yard efforts. He has 60 rushes of 10 or more yards in his career (34 in 2015, 26 in 2016).
  • He is one just eight Nittany Lions to post multiple 200-yard rushing games.
  • Barkley is the first Nittany Lion to score 10 touchdowns in a season since Zach Zwinak scored 12 in 2013.
  • Barkley registered his 17th career rushing touchdown, which ranks 21st in program history.
  • Barkley’s 10 rushing scores this season are tied for 18th on the program’s single-season chart with Charlie Pittman(1969), D.J. Dozier (1986), Richie Anderson (1991) and Rodney Kinlaw (2007).
  • Barkley’s 207 rushing yards give him 1,964 of his career. He trails Franco Harris (2,002 yards) for 18th place on the Penn State career list.
  • Barkley posted his eighth career 100-yard rushing game and third of the season. His eight 100-yard rushing games rank tied for 14th in program history with Larry Johnson (2002) and Matt Suhey (1976-79).


  • Four different Penn State running backs scored a touchdown against Purdue. Saquon Barkley (2), Andre Robinson (2), Mark Allen (1) all had rushing scores, while Miles Sanders had a receiving TD.
  • The feat was last accomplished in the FIU game in 2007 when Rodney Kinlaw (1 rushing), Evan Royster (1 rushing), Austin Scott (2 rushing), Dan Lawlor (1 rushing) and Matt Hahn (1 receiving).
  • Robinson rushed for two touchdowns, the second and third of the season and his career.
  • Robinson’s second score came on a career-long run of 19 yards.
  • Sanders caught his first career touchdown reception. The 21-yard catch was the second of Sanders’ career.
  • Allen scored from 1-yard out in the fourth quarter, his first score of the season and second of his career.


  • The Nittany Lions held Purdue to 46 rushing yards, the fewest for a Big Ten team since Illinois ran for 37 yards last season. This is the second time this season that Penn State has held an opponent under 50 yards rushing (Temple, 38).
  • Penn State held Ohio State to a season low 21 points, well below the Buckeyes’ average of 49.3 entering the game. The Buckeyes’ ground game was held to 168 yards, well below its previous average of 300.5.
  • The Nittany Lion defense held Ohio State scoreless in two quarters for the first time since the Michigan State game last season.
  • According to ESPN Stats & Info, Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett was sacked or under duress on 44 percent of his dropbacks, the second-most in his career.
  • The Nittany Lion defense had a season-high 11.0 tackles for loss. It was also the most TFLs for Penn State since Maryland (11.0) last season.
  • The 11.0 tackles for loss were the most yielded by the Buckeyes since giving up 11.0 TFL vs. Alabama on Jan. 1, 2015.
  • The 6.0 sacks given up by Ohio State were the most since yielding 7.0 against Virginia Tech on Sept. 6, 2014. Entering the Penn State game, the Buckeyes had only surrendered five sacks all season, but allowed five in the second half alone.
  • Penn State allowed a season-low 11 first downs to Maryland, its fewest allowed in a Big Ten game since holding Minnesota to seven in 2009.
  • Penn State held Maryland well below its season averages entering the game. The Terps were averaging 43.2 points per game, while allowing just 14.5. They rushed for an average of 300 yards in the first four games before being held to 170 rushing yards and 270 yards of total offense (466.2 average).
  • The 100 yards passing allowed were the fewest in a Big Ten game since giving up 68 at Indiana in 2014.

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