Iowa Football

Fun Facts: Iowa vs. Penn State, the Al's Tavern edition

Hawkeyes haven't lost on Oct. 12 in over 50 years

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz talks with Penn State counterpart James Franklin before their teams met in 2017 at Kinnick Stadium. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz talks with Penn State counterpart James Franklin before their teams met in 2017 at Kinnick Stadium. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Saturday’s Penn State-Iowa football game is on ABC, which has always had one of the great company names.

ABC. Who can’t remember that? There’s an A, and a B, and a ... sorry, I forget.

Anyhoo, here are the Fun Facts for the game:

1. Penn State is ranked 10th. This is the fifth top-10 team Iowa has played at home since the start of the 2016 season. It’s 2-2 in the first four such games, with a loss to No. 10 Wisconsin and a win over No. 2 Michigan in 2016, and a loss to No. 4 Penn State and a win over No. 3 Ohio State in 2017.

2. The Hawkeyes’ five-game losing streak against Penn State isn’t their longest current streak to another team. They have lost their last six against USC, dating to 1962. That one isn’t likely to end soon, though they still could meet in this season’s Holiday Bowl.

3. Penn State is first nationally in sacks, second in scoring defense, third in rushing defense, fourth in total defense, fifth in scoring offense.

4. Iowa is 10-10 over its last 20 Big Ten games.

5. Penn State is the only FBS team in the country that hasn’t been scored on in a first quarter.

6. The Nittany Lions are second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 7.5 points per game. Iowa is third, allowing 8.5. Wisconsin is first at 7.3.

7. Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette has 33 career kickoff returns for an average of 29.4 yards. The Big Ten record (minimum 40 returns) is 28.8 yards by Purdue’s Stan Brown from 1968-70.

8. Penn State has won its last 10 games against Big Ten West teams.

9. The Nittany Lions have been in the AP Top 25 for 47 straight polls.

10. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley is 2-for-2 for 61 yards on third-and-22s this season.

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11. Penn State’s last two Oct. 12 games went to overtime. It lost to Michigan in OT on Oct. 12, 2002 and beat the Wolverines in four overtimes on Oct. 12, 2013.

12. Iowa has won its last five Oct. 12 games, dating to 1974. Its last Oct. 12 loss was in 1968.

13. Iowa’s Keith Duncan is tied for second in the nation in field goals with 11. Tyler Bass of Georgia Southern has 12.

14. The Hawkeyes have scored all 18 times they’ve been in the red zone. Only LSU, Notre Dame and Tulane are also at 100 percent in red-zone conversions.

15. Iowa’s last kickoff return for a touchdown (2012), blocked PAT for a score (2002), interception return for a touchdown (2018), blocked field goal (2017) and safety (2018) were against Penn State.

16. Altoona, Iowa, has Adventureland. Altoona, Pa., has the Knickerbocker Tavern, Al’s Tavern, and Joe’s 58th Street Grill and Tavern.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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