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Penn State Football: Countdown to Kickoff

by on October 02, 2010 9:30 AM

The preseason has ended, and Big Ten football is back.

After a healthy appetizer of several cupcakes and one swift kick in the mouth, the 3-1 Nittany Lions will sit down for the main course -- conference play -- and have it smothered in hot sauce.

The 3-1 Hawkeyes outrank the Lions (though not by much: 17 to 22), and they're predicted to widen the difference by the end of the weekend.

Here's what we're looking for in today's game:

  • An intense crowd. It's Iowa's Homecoming weekend, it's a night game, and those corn-fed fans are hungry for more respect in the Big Ten.
  • Struggles on the ground. Iowa is known for having one of the tougher defensive lines in the country. Penn State had one great running performance this year...against Temple.
  • Attempts through the air. Look for QB Rob Bolden to spread out his offense a bit. If Evan Royster and company can't break through the line, it will be up to the young leader to make plays.

 While you wait for tonight's game, here's some good reading material for you:

  • Don't be surprised if you see Chaz Powell at an old position on defense againt Iowa. (
  • Powell would be just one of many depth chart changes made at the last second. They're all summed up nicely here: (

Terry Casey is a former managing editor of He can be reached at [email protected]
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