The Nittany Lions and Iowa Hawkeyes will be meeting for the 22nd time on Saturday. If history is any indication, this game will either be ridiculously close or a blowout of mass proportions.
Penn State has a small edge in the overall series at an 11-10, but when you compare the coaching records against each other you see a different story. Joe Paterno is 11-9 against the Hawkeyes. Kirk Ferentz is 6-2 against the Nittany Lions.
The visiting team has won 13 out of 21 games in this series. Penn State won the last meeting in Beaver Stadium in 2007, 27-7, but the Hawkeyes won last year in Iowa City, 24-23.
So, in the spirit of the upcoming 22nd battle of these two teams, I present you with the six greatest Iowa-Penn State games of all time.
Note: Sadly, none of these games are in The Big Ten's Greatest Games, thus providing further evidence that the Iowa Hawkeyes are the Rodney Dangerfield of college football.
1984 - PENN STATE 20, Iowa 17
Two Ranked Teams Battle in Iowa City
I had to dig all the way back to 1984 to find one so the PSU fans wouldn't have a total conniption fit. It was hard, because it is clear that Iowa owns Penn State in the close games. Penn State does have a few blowouts over us, but when it comes down to the wire, bet on the Hawkeyes.
Penn State was No. 12 in the country coming into Iowa City to face Chuck Long and the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes. It was a close game, but JoePa and Penn State prevailed.
2004 - IOWA 6, Penn State 4
If you are a PAC 10 fan, you probably would not like this one. This game was a barn burner from start to finish. In other words, it was offensively ugly. Thanks to the Iowa linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge (both of whom play in the NFL), and the Iowa secondary, Iowa held off Penn State to win one of the lowest scoring yet most stressful games I have ever watched.
Each member of the starting secondary (Sean Considine, Marcus Paschal, Antwan Allen and Jovon Johnson) had an interception.
This game was also a great win for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, as it came not long after the death of his father.
2002 - IOWA 42, Penn State 35 (OT)
Heisman Runner-Up Brad Banks Puts on a Little Show
A masterful performance by Iowa's Brad Banks (18-30, 261 yards four TDs, two INTs) led the Hawkeyes to an epic over time victory over PSU. Iowa dominated for for three quarters, but then Penn State came back to send it into overtime.
Brad Banks threw a TD in OT and the Iowa defense held off the Nittany Lions attempt to score.
1996 - IOWA 21, Penn State 20
They Call Him Timmy D
Superman wore the No. 6 and played for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He went by the name Tim Dwight.
Dwight had an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown in this game against Penn State. He also had a 61 yard catch that put Iowa three yards away from scoring.
All while it was raining.
2000 IOWA 26, Penn State 23 (2 OT)
Pass Happy Rashard Casey Can't Help
The Hawkeyes didn't win many games in 2000, but one of the games they did win was a double overtime battle against Penn State in Happy Valley.
Casey had a stellar day for Penn State, setting career marks for attempts (51), completions (27) and yards (301) and also passing for a touchdown. But that wasn't enough to stop Kyle McCann (stop laughing) and the Hawkeyes.
This was Kirk Ferentz's second year at Iowa and helped him to start to put Hawkeye Football back on the map.
2008 IOWA 24, Penn State 23
The Kick Heard Round the World
Iowa shocked Penn State with last-second field goal to ruin their National Title hopes and perfect season. The game went back and forth, but ultimately came down to a few plays.
One of those was a Daryll Clark interception by Tyler Sash. Another was a pass interference call on Penn State late in the game. Another being Daniel Murray's game-winning kick as time expired.
Shonn Greene rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns against a tough PSU defense.