College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Iowa vs. Penn State 11/21/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Iowa visits Penn State on 11/21/2020 at 3:30PM.

Iowa and Penn State face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Iowa has a record of 2-2 this season. Penn State is 0-4 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Iowa Team Defense Preview

Iowa has had 44 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.41 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 49.16% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Iowa is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Iowa can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.59 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Iowa is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Iowa Team Offense Preview

Iowa has had 44 total drives this season and they generate 5.25 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Iowa is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 54.11% of their play calls.Iowa tends to pass more than other teams.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Iowa has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Iowa can take credit for 3.24 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Iowa coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Iowa has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Iowa is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Iowa has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Penn State Team Defense Preview

Penn State has had 50 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.1 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Penn State is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 47.06% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.59 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Penn State is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Penn State Team Offense Preview

Penn State has had 49 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 6.24 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Penn State. Penn State has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 52.61% of their play calls.Penn State tends to pass more than other teams.

Penn State is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Penn State can take credit for 3.23 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Penn State coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Penn State Offense. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Penn State is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Iowa Roster

The Players to Watch for Iowa

Spencer Petras QB 6-5 231

This season, Spencer Petras has put up 759 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 102.7thus far this season. Spencer Petras has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Spencer Petras has 27.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 54.61 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 12.0 times this season, which puts him in the 48.98 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Tyler Goodson RB 5-10 200

This season, Tyler Goodson has 375 rushing yards on 63 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 5 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Tyler Goodson picked up 79 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 8 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Tyrone Tracy Jr. WR 5-11 203

This season, Tyrone Tracy Jr. picked up 126 yards. He caught the ball 11 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Daviyon Nixon DT 6-3 305

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Iowa, Daviyon Nixon has 23 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 7 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 99.27 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 3 times this season, which put him in the 97.09 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Chauncey Golston DL 6-5 270

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Iowa, Chauncey Golston has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 86.99 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 84.25 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Jack Koerner DB 6-0 205

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Iowa, Jack Koerner had 25 tackles which puts him in the 80.23 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 90.05 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Jack Koerner as a ball hawker was able to pick off 3 passes last season, which puts him in the 99.03 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Penn State Roster

The Players to Watch for Penn State

Sean Clifford QB 6-2 217

This season, Sean Clifford has put up 896 yards and 9 touchdowns. He has thrown 6 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 128.4thus far this season. Sean Clifford has thrown 6 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Sean Clifford has 169.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 87.71 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 58.0 times this season, which puts him in the 90.78 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Devyn Ford RB 5-11 198

This season, Devyn Ford has 207 rushing yards on 53 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Devyn Ford picked up 16 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 5 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jahan Dotson WR 5-11 182

This season, Jahan Dotson picked up 388 yards. He caught the ball 23 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 5 receiving touchdowns this season.

PJ Mustipher DT 6-4 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Penn State, PJ Mustipher has 21 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 26.7 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 34.71 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Jayson Oweh DE 6-5 252

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Penn State, Jayson Oweh has 27 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 86.99 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.27 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Jaquan Brisker S 6-1 212

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Penn State, Jaquan Brisker had 24 tackles which puts him in the 78.66 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 76.48 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Jaquan Brisker as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 39.44 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Joey Porter Jr. CB 6-2 193

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Penn State, Joey Porter Jr. had 15 tackles which puts him in the 73.43 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 80.66 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 1 times last season. Joey Porter Jr. as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.84 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Iowa vs. Penn State Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Iowa 24 Penn State 18

Spread Pick: Iowa -1 -110 bet365
Moneyline Pick: Iowa -106 matchbook
Total Pick: Under 47 -110 SBR Sportsbook