State College is full of jubilance and anxiousness now that its proud Nittany Lions team is 9-0. It has almost been two weeks since Penn State traveled to Columbus and beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 13-6. Last week brought a well-deserved bye week to gear up for the stretch run.
Darryl Clark suffered a concussion against Ohio State and he said that he couldn't remember some parts of the game. While he was on the bench, it was possible that he didn't see the Terrelle Pryor fumble. Also, wideout Jordan Norwood hasn't been the same player since he hurt his hamstring in September. The bye week should've helped both of these players recover.
Not only are some players injured, some are probably tired. This has been a nine-week marathon. They have been on the road for the past few weeks.
Now that they are rested, the Nittany Lions need to go into Iowa City and get out to a fast start against Iowa. Iowa is one-dimensional on offense with running back Shonn Greene and Penn State has proven it can stop the run. Even though it's likely that Penn State will start off rusty, dominating from the get-go will help end the game early.
The key for this stretch run is to not pay attention to the polls until the season is over. This goes for the fans, as well; we need to relax. The Lions need to focus on their opponents. These aren't teams that you can push over (with the exception of Indiana).
Right now, Penn State needs to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes. This year's version of the Nittany Lions is senior-laden. This team is disciplined and focused and it knows what's at stake. In order to be a championship team, you have to have the ability to finish. Penn State will show the country that it can.