What you need to know: No. 4 Penn State vs. Indiana
UNIVERSITY PARK — Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye on, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions on fall Saturdays this season.
Game details: vs. Indiana, 3:30 p.m., broadcast on BTN
Records: Penn State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten), Indiana (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten).
Venue: Beaver Stadium, where the Nittany Lions have never lost to the Hoosiers (9-0).
Weather forecast (via AccuWeather): High of 62 degrees, clouds and sun with a shower. It’ll definitely be milder than a week ago in Iowa City, where temperatures hovered in the low 90s for most of the day, before dropping only slightly for the game.
Overview: Penn State faces an improved Hoosiers squad, which had its earlier game against Florida International canceled because of Hurricane Irma. Indiana played an early conference game, battling Ohio State for the first half before the Buckeyes ran away with a 49-21 victory on a Thursday night in Bloomington. Indiana averages 37 points per game but gives up 27, and the Hoosiers also have a negative turnover margin (-1). These last two numbers don’t bode well for an IU upset.
The line: Penn State –16.5
All-time series: Penn State leads 19-1, starting in 1993.
Last time they met (2016): Penn State collected a 45-31 comeback victory, after trailing by 10 points late in the third quarter. A late defensive touchdown stopped the Hoosiers’ potential game-tying drive and gave the final score a little more cushion.
Penn State wins if: The Nittany Lions make the Hoosiers one-dimensional on offense. IU quarterback Richard Lagow has thrown three interceptions through three games, and Penn State has a positive turnover ratio (+6). If the Lions claim an early lead and force the Hoosiers to play from behind, Penn State’s defense should continue to be disruptive.
Indiana wins if: Penn State has a complete letdown from last week. We could say the Hoosiers win if they sustain a rushing attack for the entire game, or if All-American linebacker Tegray Scales has a ferociously memorable performance. But realistically, Indiana wins only if Penn State lets that happen. In other words, it’s difficult to see the Hoosiers winning this game on their own.
Count on: A crowd of 100,000 or more. The fans have crossed the six-figure mark in each of the first three home games, and with Big Ten play now coming to Beaver Stadium, the trend should continue.
Keep an eye on: Penn State’s uniforms, as the Lions will don throwback duds for the much-anticipated “Generations of Greatness” game. And based on video that the football team has shared on social media this week, also check out the end zones. As a nod to a previous era, diamond cutouts will dot each end of the field.
Trivia tidbit: Penn State’s 10-game home wining streak is tied with Michigan for the third-longest active streak in FBS. Alabama (14) and USC (12) claim the top two active streaks.
Saquon Barkley record watch: After his record-breaking performance against Iowa — Barkley amassed a program-best 358 all-purpose yards, including a career high 211 rushing yards — the Heisman Trophy front-runner now stands seventh all-time at Penn State with 3,090 rushing yards. He passed Lydell Mitchell and Larry Johnson on Saturday.
*Season record: 4-0
*Season record against the spread: 1-3
Prediction: Penn State 45, Indiana 21
*HappyValley season predictions