It’s time for the Hawkeyes to defend the home turf

Hawkeye Headquarters

Some of the best victories in the Kirk Ferentz era have come at Kinnick under the lights.

“We take great pride in making Kinnick a tough place to come in and win,” said Iowa sophomore defensive back Jack Koerner.

Saturday against unbeaten Penn State would be another one. Iowa’s setback at Michigan didn’t change the Hawks’ path to Indianapolis.

“You play out the whole season, don’t panic after one game or don’t have a party either,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

But a home loss to Penn State this week would likely force the Hawks to win out to win the West.

“These crossover games are huge, putting us in position to have the opportunity to be at the top of the division, so we know that we need to just come out and play the best we can,” Iowa senior quarterback Nate Stanley said.

The Hawks are 16-7 at Kinnick Stadium since the beginning of the 2016 season. But just 8-6 in Big Ten play. In other words, it’s time to defend the home turf if they want to win the Big Ten West.

“Defending Kinnick is always the main goal, especially the night game,” Iowa Junior Safety Geno Stone said. “That’s probably one of the best atmospheres you get in Kinnick, especially against a Top-10 team now, so we know what type of game it is gonna be.”

“You want to win at home, certainly and protect your home field, but there’s no guarantees on that one,” Ferentz said. “And then if you’re going to be a winning football team, then you’ve got to win on the road, too. That’s part of the deal.”

The Hawkeyes will be looking to end a five-game losing streak to Penn State in this series. The Hawkeyes last win coming in 2010, when both teams were ranked inside the top 20 — just like Saturday’s matchup.

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