Feb 4, 2014; Iowa City, IA, USA; Guard Mike Gesell (10) of the Iowa Hawkeys splits Ohio State Buckeyes guard Shannon Scott (3) and center Amir Williams (23) during the second half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Ohio State beat Iowa 76-69. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa @ Penn St: Keys To The Game

After a week off, the Iowa Hawkeyes will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions.  Penn State has been a surprise this year as they’ve knocked off some teams they probably should not have.  With how the Big Ten has been this year, anything is possibly come Saturday afternoon when this game tips off.

Lets take a look at some keys to the games for both of these teams.

For Penn State: 

Guard play!

This one is a no-brainer.  D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier are the guys that make Penn State go.  These two are the teams leading scorers and also lead in the assist category.  Newbill was a pest both times Iowa played Penn State last year while Tim Frazier was rehabing from his knee injury.  If Penn State is going to win this game, they’ll need these two guys to be instrumental.

Remain confident!

Penn State has some big wins this year, earlier in the year they defeated Ohio State in Columbus and they are coming off a win over Tom Crean’s Indiana team in Bloomington, which is no easy thing to do as we’ve seen the Hoosiers beat Wisconsin, who was #3 in the country, and Michigan, who was #10 in the country, at Assembly Hall earlier in the year.  There is no reason Penn State should be lacking any kind of confidence in this game.

For Iowa:

Don’t take them for granted!

I just mentioned Penn State has been scrappy all year long and they will no doubt be that on Saturday.  Iowa has two road games in a row and they can’t be looking past this team because if they do, Penn State might just beat Iowa on Saturday afternoon.  We’ve seen how up and down this league has been all year, so Iowa needs to come out with the same intensity they had against Michigan last Saturday.

Mike Gesell!

Gesell has been the motor the last couple of games for the Hawkeyes, especially against Michigan.  Now, I know Devyn Marble had 26 points in that one, but who do you think was feeding him the rock?  It was Gesell.  Mike’s 8 assists in the game against Michigan were his season high.  He also added 10 points in that game as well.  Right now, the Hawkeyes are playing through Gesell and he’s been handling it with great poise.

This is a potential trap game for the Hawkeyes, but I don’t think they buy into that crap.  Iowa will need to bring everything they’ve got because there is no chance that Penn State rolls over.  They’ll put up a big fight in this game, but I think Fran will have his guys ready and they’ll take care of business.

This game will tip off Saturday at noon CT at the Bryce Jordan Center.


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