Penn State Predictions: Homecoming will cure Lions
Well, the road gets easier from here on out.
There are just three games remaining on Penn State’s schedule – vs. Rutgers, vs. Nebraska and at Maryland. Three must-win games for the Nittany Lions if they are going to make a New Year’s Day bowl game.
The three-game season begins this week when Rutgers comes to town for Homecoming.
Our entire staff took one on the chin last week, meaning no one is perfect.
Here’s what we’ve got for this week’s Homecoming tilt:
Matt Lingerman, sports intern (Season record 8-1): After a pair of disappointing on the weekends on the road for the Nittany Lions, Saturday is a must win if they want to compete for a New Year’s Six Bowl. Rutgers isn't a formidable opponent by any means, but they have played well in recent games. Regardless, Penn State will continue to thrive at Beaver Stadium to reinvigorate the Nittany Lion faithful.
Penn State 45, Rutgers 6.
Chris Morelli, managing editor (season record 8-1): Well, the wind is out of the sails and the Nittany Lions are reeling. As Apollo Creed once told Rocky Balboa, “there is no tomorrow.” Penn State must turn this around – now. Don’t worry, head coach James Franklin will have his squad ready to get down the homestretch in impressive fashion. Barkley re-enters the Heisman conversation with a command performance.
Penn State 48, Rutgers 14.
John Patishnock, beat writer (season record 8-1): Look for the Nittany Lions to locate their running game. Granted, Penn State can probably win by throwing the ball 50 times and having a marginally successful rushing attack, but getting Saquon Barkley going will greatly help. The same is true for Trace McSorley. After a mid-week practice last week, James Franklin said that when McSorley has factored into the Lions’ running game early, it puts the defense on its heels and can be frustrating for opposing defensive coordinators and players.
Penn State 48, Rutgers 21.
Michael Kresovich, sports intern (season record 7-2): Penn State returns home for the first time in three weeks to host Rutgers. Coming off of two straight losses, and after being thrown back to No. 14 in the college football playoff ranking, This is a must-win game for the Nittany Lions. Fortunately, Penn State is playing at home. The Nittany Lions haven’t lost at Beaver Stadium since the 2015 season. After a couple of lackluster performances in the past two weeks displayed by the Penn State defense. Penn State will look to get back on track on the defensive side of the ball.Rutgers does not have a very dominant passing attack, expect the hungry Nittany Lions’ defense to create turnovers and get to the quarterback on Saturday. Barkley had his “breakout” game against the Scarlet Knights a few years ago. Expect Barkley to get back to his ways and have a field day against the Rutgers’ D.
Penn State 43, Rutgers 10.
Abbi Sales, sports intern (season record 7-2): After back to back losses the past two weekends, the Nittany Lions really need to prove themselves with a win. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are showing improvement after they've won three out of their last four games, but they shouldn't be a roadblock for Penn State.
Penn State 42, Rutgers 16.