Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's game day at Beaver Stadium
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Good evening from the Whitehouse, also known as Beaver Stadium.
Despite the weather, Penn State fans will be out in force tonight to make things as difficult as possible for the Iowa Hawkeyes, who have won six of the last seven games in this series. Penn State spanked Iowa 27-7 in the Hawkeyes' last trip to Happy Valley. Great atmosphere around the stadium today, one of the best I've seen.
The forecast is, well, sloppy. There will be periods of rain all game long. The wind shouldn't be too bad. The field conditions could be tough.
We've already looked at keys to the game, Penn State's no-respect wide receivers and Ricky Stanzi's slow starts. This game will come down to the line of scrimmage, as most do, and here are two key matchups to watch tonight.
Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn vs. Penn State LT Dennis Landolt -- Clayborn had a big game last year against Penn State, recording a forced fumble, a sack, two tackles for loss and six total tackles. He also comes off a dominating performance last Saturday against Arizona. Landolt is Penn State's most experienced offensive lineman, but he moved from right tackle to left tackle for this season. He'll need to keep Clayborn off of Daryll Clark's back.
Penn State DE Jack Crawford vs. Iowa LT Riley Reiff -- Reiff starts his third game in place of standout Bryan Bulaga, who will sit out with an undisclosed illness. While Reiff has fared well so far, he faces a much tougher test with Penn State's defensive front, always one of the best in the country. Crawford generated a ton of preseason hype as Aaron Maybin's replacement and has recorded two sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. He'll be gunning for Stanzi all night.