No. 4 Penn State and No. 3 Iowa may not have gotten College GameDay to come to Iowa City this, but Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff did make the trip out for this week’s highest matchup in college football.
Former Iowa defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Ettore “Big E” Ewen made an appearance on the set, drawing raucous applause from the largely Hawkeyes crowd, with a video from current WWE SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee showing his popularity.
Big E getting a COLOSSAL POP in Iowa pic.twitter.com/BJ1M3wzf0U
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 9, 2021
Ewen spent 2004-06 on the Hawkeyes’ roster, playing one season with Iowa as a junior in 2006. Ewen turned his attention to powerlifting following the season before eventually making his way to professional wrestling in 2009 with the WWE.
Penn State drew some alumni representation with former Penn State linebacker and NFL Pro Bowler LaVar Arrington making an appearance on the set. Arrington spent three seasons with the Nittany Lions, between 1997-99, earning back-to-back All-American honors in 1998 and 1999.
Arrington won the Butkus, Bednarik and Lambert Awards in 1999 before being drafted second overall in the 2000 NFL Draft. After four stellar seasons with the Washington Redskins, including two All-Pro selections, injuries derailed his promising career.
Penn State head coach James Franklin even made a virtual appearance on the set.
Penn State-Iowa is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. from Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium. The contest is being televised on Fox with the top crew of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt on the call.