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Iowa vs. Penn State: The Best Rivalry in Big Ten College Football, Part 2 13

Posted on September 30, 2010 by JA Allen

Part 2

Iowa vs. Penn State 2002.

2002: Iowa 42, Penn State 35 (1 OT)

The Date: 9/22/2002. The Place: Beaver Stadium. The Coaches: Kirk Ferentz vs. Joe Paterno.

Once again, the Nittany Lions seemed to underestimate the Hawkeyes in the fan-friendly environs of Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions were such gregarious hosts that they spotted the lower-ranked, unanimously anointed underdog Hawkeyes three touchdowns.

As the game progressed, coach Joe Paterno suffered that sinking feeling once again. It appeared that his team had forgotten how to execute simple pass patterns, and how to run between tacklers.

Penn State turned the ball over twice in the first 22 minutes––giving the Hawkeyes two touchdowns and the Nittany Lions their worst first-quarter performance in almost a decade.

At halftime, Penn State was down, 26-7.

Then, all at once, the Nittany Lions sprung to life with a little over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. They were down, 35-13, at that point.

Penn State stormed back, scoring 22 points to force the game into overtime.

Big Lion tailback Larry Johnson got things rolling when he nabbed a screen pass from quarterback Zack Mills, rambling 36 yards for a touchdown.

Some real heroics and gutsy play sealed the comeback for the Nittany Lions, who tied it up to the chagrin of the Iowa team and their fans.

The Hawkeyes had figured—somewhat prematurely—that they had done enough to win this game in Happy Valley.

Now, there was more to do in overtime. But the Hawkeyes did it.

Under fire, Iowa quarterback Brad Banks threw a six-yard completion to C.J. Jones to take the Hawkeyes up 42-35. This time Penn State could not answer the call, and the game ended.

Once again, the underrated Hawkeyes defeated Penn State in Beaver Stadium.

Iowa had outstanding play on the afternoon by running back Fred Russell, who amassed 142 hard-earned rushing yards, and by vaunted tight end Dallas Clark, who caught four passes for 88 yards and seemed to own the center of the field.

As Joe Paterno chased officials off the field, complaining about certain calls, the curtain fell on another heart-stopper between Penn State and Iowa.

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Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast: Week 5 2

Posted on September 28, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan's predictions for Week 5

The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Toledo Rockets derailed Zultan’s perfect 14-0 Week 4.

These MAC teams accomplished what the SEC, PAC 10 and Big East conferences could not––confound the All-Seeing One by bringing out previously hidden talent to overrun the supposedly more talent-laden Big Ten teams––Purdue and Minnesota.

But now, as conference play gets underway, the prognostication game grows deadly serious.  There are no more gimmes on the horizon, for all appearances to the contrary. The lop-sided scoring by the top-ranked Big Ten teams over cup-cake opponents is over. This begins the run for conference titles and other guarantees of glory in the post season.

Zultan has never dipped below 500 in his two-year stint forecasting games; but this could be the week.  Don’t miss your opportunity to outguess the Seer of Seers.  Click here to make your own picks for Week 5.  But be warned, Zultan has polished up his crystal ball, tweaking his football radar as he readies himself for that all important first step in Week 5.

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Iowa Vs. Penn State: The Best Rivalry in Big Ten College Football, Part 1 17

Posted on September 27, 2010 by JA Allen

IA QB Ricky Stanzi celebrates 24-23 victory over Penn State.

The Iowa vs. Penn State rivalry in college football has ballooned in importance, especially in recent years as Iowa continues to roll out one impressive football team after another.

Penn State has the storied football past, having cemented its place in the upper echelons of successful college football programs.

In the early years, Penn State owned Iowa, winning five of their first seven meetings.

Iowa won twice prior to 1980, in 1930 and again in 1976.

Many felt Penn State would dominate the conference when the Nittany Lions became a full-fledged member of the Big Ten in 1993. After all, Penn State had won National Championships in 1982 and again in 1986.

The Lions did win the Big Ten conference title in 1994 with a perfect 12-0 season. They won it again in 2005, going 11-1, and in 2008 when they tied for first place with Ohio State. The Nittany Lions’ only conference loss in 2008 came against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Dallas Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team.

During the Hayden Fry years (1979-98), Iowa played Penn State six times, twice in 1983-1984 when Penn State was an Independent, and four times as Big Ten opponents. Iowa won twice, in 1983 and then again in 1996.

When Kirk Ferentz came to Iowa, the dominance by Penn State began to wane.

In fact, in the nine times the two teams have met during the Ferentz era at Iowa (1999-present), the Hawkeyes hold a decided advantage, winning seven of nine or 78 percent of the games played.

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Week 4 of Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast 4

Posted on September 21, 2010 by JA Allen

Unfortunately this week, Zultan, the Great Prognosticator, has locked himself inside his room and he refuses to come out after the Iowa Hawkeyes lost to Arizona last Saturday night in Tucson.

He can still be heard moaning and mumbling into the wee hours of the morning. His crystal ball was finally located in the freezer wrapped clumsily in a black and gold shroud.

Zultan shoved a scribbled list under his door. No doubt this is the week you should challenge the Big Z because his powers have been desiccated by western desert winds. Click here to gain the advantage by out-guessing the mighty Zultan’s as he makes his picks in Week 4.

The Big Ten plays its latest slate of non-conference games in the house by going up against supposed home-baked cupcakes this week.  But there might be a couple of genuine upsets in the making.

Central Michigan Chippewas at Northwestern Wildcats

MAC Conference member Central Michigan, 2-1, suffered their only loss to the Temple Owls.  Northwestern who has managed to escape Vanderbilt, Illinois State and Rice to remain undefeated should manage to notch another win against the Central Michigan Chippewas.  Northwestern bakes another cuppie and wins this one at home.

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Week 3: Power Ranking Big Ten Conference Football Teams 5

Posted on September 16, 2010 by JA Allen

The Big Ten has seven unbeaten teams going into Week 3 of the football season––but let’s face it, many of the opponents during the first two weeks of the season have not exactly provided stiff competition.

This, however, is true of most conference schedules.

Yes, there are exceptions, with Penn State taking on No. 1 ranked Alabama and Ohio State taking on No. 13 ranked Miami Hurricanes.

Illinois played Missouri out of the Big 12 in their opener, just as the Iowa Hawkeyes took on Big 12 In-State rival Iowa State.

Additionally, Purdue played Notre Dame––just as Michigan played the Irish, as well Connecticut, out of the Big East.

It is a little premature to conjecture about the strength and weaknesses of the Big Ten Conference. But as we head into Week 3, this is how the Big Ten Teams line up in the latest Power Rankings…

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers [1-1]

The Gophers are already reeling after being upset by the South Dakota Coyotes 41-38 in Week 2.

Duane Bennett, who rushed 18 times for 104 yards, kept the Gophers competitive with two one-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter, the last with 3:21 left to cut the lead to three.

Every time the Gophers have played football teams from the Dakotas, they’ve found themselves in deep trouble.

North Dakota State came up one point short in 2006, but found a way to win at the Metrodome in 2007. Minnesota had to struggle mightily for a 16-13 victory over South Dakota State last November.

The Gophers did not help themselves by turning the ball over twice in the first half last Saturday. First, Minnesota failed on a fourth down attempt at the South Dakota 30, and then QB Adam Weber fumbled at the Coyotes 30 in the closing seconds.

Kicker Ellestad, who missed from 39 and 40 yards in the opening win at Middle Tennessee, also hooked a 48-yard field goal left.

Weber found Stoudermire open on a post pattern from 49 yards out for Minnesota’s first touchdown and hit Gray and Da’Jon McKnight for scores in the third quarter. Weber was 21 for 31 for 258 yards.

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Iowa Football: Double the Trouble for the Arizona Wildcats 1

Posted on September 15, 2010 by JA Allen

Iowa defeated Arizona 27-17 last year in Iowa City.

In 2009, Iowa tipped Arizona in Kinnick Stadium 27-17 on the back of Iowa’s defense–– which essentially stifled any real offense the Wildcats could muster.

Arizona’s running back Nic Grigsby came into the contest as the nation’s second leading rusher.

He left Iowa City with only 75 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Of their 17 total points, Arizona scored seven as a result of an interception of a Stanzi pass. The Wildcat offense scored another seven points as time was running out in the fourth quarter and the outcome was no longer in doubt.

That meant that for all of their efforts, the Arizona offense earned a field goal on the afternoon. That evolved when Iowa corner back Amari Spievey stopped Grigsby with a tackle on the Iowa 1-yard line.  Subsequently, Iowa stopped Arizona cold and the Wildcats had to settle for a 3-pointer instead of a touchdown.

The Iowa defense which held the Arizona offense to a mere eight first downs, will be expected to repeat their performance in 2010.

This year Iowa’s “Bid D” will face a more explosive offense, led by quarterback Nick Foles, a Michigan State transfer.

Foles entered the game in the fourth quarter of the 2009 game against Iowa and has now replaced last year’s starter Matt Scott.

Foles forte is passing and in his first two games he has thrown for 574 yards and three touchdowns. Completing 83 percent of his passes, Foles has also tossed a couple of interceptions.  But the level of the Wildcat competition has not been exactly stiff.

The Arizona team mauled the MAC Conference Toledo Rockets 41-2 in week one. They followed that up with a win over the Citadel of the Southern Conference, 52-6. Iowa, on the other hand, will present a whole lot more competition.

The Wildcats use short passes to open up the field. RB Grigsby is back fully healthy again, piling up 160 yards and five touchdowns in the first two games.  He has been aided in the backfield by Greg Nwoko who has added 100 yards and two touchdowns so far in 2010. The Arizona defense will be forced to stand up to their toughest test so far in this young season.

Iowa will win this game for many reasons but primarily because of the the team effort on both sides of the ball.  On offense and on defense expect these tandems to excel as No. 9 Iowa faces No. 24 Arizona in Tucson on September 18:

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      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

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