While the Big Ten will become a permanent fixture at 3:30 p.m. EST starting in 2024, the conference will see a number of games played on the network as its new television deal begins at the start of the 2023 season. The first of these should be announced. The contest to be announced just as Penn State will host Iowa on Saturday, September 23 at 8 PM ET in the White Out game.
The Big Ten schedule on CBS will officially begin Week 1 on Saturday, September 2 with future game selections to be announced at a later date. In the meantime, though, the Happy Valley showdown between the Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes will present two major Big Ten programs to a national prime-time audience in Week 4.
The 2023 season marks the first as part of a seven-year deal between CBS and the Big Ten. The games will be played in different timeslots in 2023 before moving to the traditional 3:30pm window in 2024.
Penn State is 17-14 all-time against Iowa, even though it has fallen in two straight meetings after winning six in a row.
The Nittany Lions come into the 2023 season with high expectations. The reigning Rose Bowl champion returned five offensive linemen who started at least five games last season, including superstar OL Olumuyiwa Fashanu, who opted to go back to school for one final season rather than declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. Fashanu was projected to be an early-round pick the first before deciding to return to Happy Valley.
Perhaps the most important addition to Penn State’s starting lineup is former five-star QB Drew Allar who leads offense. Allar appeared in 10 games last season while serving as a replacement for Shaun Clifford and completed 35 of 60 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Penn State also returns a pair of dynamic running backs – Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen – who combined for 1,928 yards rushing and 24 total touchdowns last season. Allar’s top two receiving targets are expected to be WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith and TE Theo Johnson.
Iowa is coming off a disastrous season offensively. The Hawkeyes ranked as the second-worst FBS offense in yards per game (251.6) and ninth-worst offense per game (17.7). In the offseason, Iowa added QB Cade McNamara and TE Erick Ali, both of whom played at Michigan last season. McNamara and Ali are expected to start the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes also acquired one of the best wide receivers available in former Ohio State transfer gate WR Kaleb Brown, who was rated a four-star and the 78th player in the 2022 recruiting cycle, per 247 sports. Brown only played 27 complete offensive snaps in 2022 and was buried in an Ohio State receiving depth chart that included Jackson Smith Njegba, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Igbuka.
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