Stanley and Iowa offense struggle in loss to Penn State

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The Nittany Lions improved to 6-2 this season, but not without almost letting a late lead slip yet again. The 1-2 punch of running back Miles Sanders and McSorley could make things extremely hard on the Iowa defense. Penn State still has an outside chance at winning the Big Ten East and could work its way back into a major bowl.

McSorley ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rushing yards with 554 through seven games, and that's already a career high, topping his 491 yards last season.

Franklin is anxious about leaning too much on McSorley.

Penn State enters a brutal schedule stretch that includes Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin over the next three weeks. Lion receivers have dropped 22 passes this season, among the most in the country by any team.

Freshman phenom linebacker Micah Parsons has been getting more and more snaps in recent games, and his 36 tackles this season are just one shy of the team lead. No. 17 Iowa defeated No. 20 Penn State 24-3.

Early in the second quarter, Penn State got the ball with the hopes of taking a lead.

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It's also probably not a good day for the offensive line when its starting quarterback is forced out of the game due to injury.

Simply put, the potential is there for Penn State to go through this pivotal stretch 3-0 or 0-3. The Nittany Lions have not lost three straight homes games since 2015, when they were still recovering from NCAA sanctions in coach James Franklin's second season.

Quarterback Nate Stanley has made these Hawkeyes more dynamic, with 16 touchdown passes, and maybe the best pair of tight ends in college football in Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson.

Sam Brincks #90 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after catching a 10 yard touchdown pass in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 27, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

However, the Nittany Lions are 5.5-point favorites at home with the total set at 51 in the latest Penn State vs. Iowa odds for this 3:30 p.m. ET matchup on Saturday. This performance could be just what Pinegar needed for confidence and a turnaround. The Hawkeyes are part of a logjam near the top of the Big Ten West standings, with four teams having one loss halfway through the season. Just a table for him to sit on while his right knee was being checked out in the second quarter of Penn State's game against Iowa.

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