Ready to pony up for a hot chocolate on a chilly night at Kinnick Stadium?
Penn State and Iowa players are looking forward to Saturday’s top-20 match-up and today’s Hawkeye 10@10 covers that and more.
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Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Penn State players are preparing for what they know they’re going to get Saturday night when they take the field at Kinnick Stadium.
Offensive lineman Will Fries recalls the atmosphere the Nittany Lions experienced in 2017, expecting more of the same in Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game.
“The first thing, it’s loud. Anyone who has been there knows how passionate those fans are and how great of an atmosphere it is,’’ Fries said. “We are expecting a great atmosphere again and really just a memorable experience under those lights. That was my first Big Ten game. I’m excited to go back there and play again.’’
2. Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum has a connection with Matt Kroul, the former Hawkeye who will be honored as the America Needs Farmers Wall of Honor recipient on Saturday.
Kroul, from nearby Mount Vernon, spent time training with Linderbaum in the wrestling room at Solon High School.
“He was good enough to come in and train a bit and help me get better,’’ Linderbaum said. “He was a really good wrestler and a friend of our coaches. He came in to work out and we rolled around a bit on the mat and I feel like that really helped me become a better competitor.’’
3. Asked why Iowa has been able to sustain its level of success under Kirk Ferentz, Penn State coach James Franklin said he believes it starts with an identity.
“They build toward that identity and recruit toward that identity and scheme toward that identity,’’ Franklin said. “That starts with the head coach. That starts with the hiring and ability to keep assistants for long periods of time and I think what they have done a really good job of is not allowing maybe what the hot fad or the sexy current fad to impact them. You know, they are going to do it the way they do it. I look at Wisconsin, very similar in that light, as well as Iowa.’’
Franklin said what Ferentz has done is easier said than done.
“You look all over the country, and people are having a hard time replicating that,’’ he said.
4. Despite being called for eight penalties covering losses of 60 yards in Saturday’s 10-3 loss at Michigan, Iowa remains the least-penalized team in the Big Ten.
The Hawkeyes have been flagged 24 times in five games this season, penalties totaling a league-low 164 yards.
Only Penn State with 20 penalties and Minnesota with 23 have been penalized fewer times than Iowa. The Hawkeyes are averaging a Big Ten-low 32.8 penalty yards per game.
5. This week’s match-up against Penn State pairs two offenses which have been the most productive in the Big Ten when reaching the red zone.
Iowa remains perfect in putting points on the board when snapping the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, going 18-of-18 with 13 touchdowns and five field goals.
Penn State is second in the league with a 95.7-percent success rate. The Nittany Lions have scored on 22 of their 23 trips inside the 20, scoring 18 touchdowns and four field goals.
Iowa’s scores have been balanced, rushing for seven touchdowns and passing for six. Penn State has been more geared toward the run inside the 20, rushing for 15 of the 18 touchdowns it has collected in the red zone.
6. Ricky Stanzi will be the Hawkeyes’ honorary captain for Saturday’s game against Penn State.
The former quarterback was a three-year letterwinner from 2008-10, starting 35 games over his final three seasons.
Stanzi quarterbacked Iowa to a 26-9 record, including a 10-1 record in 200 when he led Iowa to wins in its first nine games, missed the final two regular-season games because of an injury and returned to lead Iowa to a win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Stanzi is the only Iowa quarterback to lead his team to three bowl wins with victories over South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl, Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl and Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.
The Mentor, Ohio native ranks third in Iowa history with 7,377 passing yards and 7,373 yards of total offense.
A fifth-round draft pick of the Chiefs in 2011, he spent five seasons in the NFL.
He will accompany Iowa captains to midfield for the coin flip prior to the game and be with the team in the locker room before and after the game.
7. Have your stripes on?
Saturday’s game is the annual Black and Gold spirit game at Kinnick Stadium and fans are encouraged to wear gold or black based on their seat location.
8. The biggest in-season collection of recruits is expected to visit Iowa for Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game against Penn State.
More than 55 prospects are scheduled to attend the game, a group that includes players in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 recruiting classes.
9. The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital will recognize the $3 million fundraising effort of Carson King at a news conference this afternoon.
The Iowa State fan captured attention for waving a sign seeking beer money on ESPN’s College Game Day prior to the Iowa-Iowa State football game, deciding to donate the money generated to the children’s hospital after thousands of dollars ultimately were accumulated in a campaign which eventually topped $3 million.
King, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran and Patrick McNamara, the director of neonatology at the facility, are scheduled to speak.
10. Former Iowa basketball player Jess Settles will be the featured speaker at Monday’s Davenport Grid Club luncheon.
Settles will join Quad-City area college and high school football coaches on the program at the noon event held at the Knights of Columbus, 1111 W. 35th St., Davenport.
The Grid Club is open to the public and tickets, priced $10, are available at the door and include a buffet luncheon.