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Penn State notebook: Lions expect to click at Iowa

| Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 10:58 p.m.

Penn State has averaged just over 12 points in its past four games against Iowa, but quarterback Matt McGloin doesn't anticipate the Nittany Lions having trouble scoring Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

“It won't be a low-scoring game,” McGloin said of the 8 p.m. matchup. “We're very confident in our offense and our ability to put up points. Iowa has a very experienced quarterback. They have a good football team, so they'll be able to put up some points.”

Penn State is averaging 27 points, and the Nittany Lions broke out with 39 in an Oct. 6 win against Northwestern. Penn State didn't play last week, raising questions of whether the break will disrupt the offense's timing.

“On Monday and Tuesday, we had two of our best practices we've had so far this year, so there's no concern for us taking a step back,” McGloin said. “If anything we're taking a step forward this week.”

Starting offensive tackle Mike Farrell said the players returned from a long weekend energized and focused.

“I thought (coach Bill O'Brien) did a great job having a great level of energy and intensity from the day we walked in the building,” said Farrell, a Shady Side Academy graduate. “And that, mixed with the fact that we as a team really wanted to get back to work, seemed to be able to knock that rust off from the weekend.”

• Redshirt sophomore Mike Hull has been replacing inside linebacker Glenn Carson on obvious passing downs, but O'Brien said that is not a knock on Carson. “He's had a heck of a year,” O'Brien said of Carson, who is third on the team with 38 tackles. “I hope we can recruit guys like him every year that I'm here because he is all about football.”

• Iowa figures to be the most physical team Penn State has played this season, but O'Brien doesn't appear to be worried. “They play a very tough brand of football,” he said. “I believe we play a tough brand of football.”

• Penn State beat Iowa, 13-3, last season, but it has lost eight of its past 10 against the Hawkeyes. “It's somewhat of a rivalry,” said Hull, a Canon-McMillan graduate. “There's been some close games in the past, and they're a tough, physical football team.”

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