Penn State predictions: Taming the Wildcats
The No. 4 Nittany Lions are rolling.
Penn State took care of business last week in the “Generations of Greatness” game, thumping Indiana 45-14. This week, the Lions take their show on the road for a conference tilt at Northwestern. The Wildcats are struggling at 2-2 and are 13½ -point underdogs. Evanston is not a tough place to play, but there are some things to consider: The game will kick at 11 a.m. local time, noon EST. Also consider that James Franklin is 0-2 against Northwestern and Pat Fitzgerald. This should be the year that ends.
Let’s find out what our staff has to say!
Michael Kresovich, sports intern (season record 5-0): Penn State has not won at Evanston since 2012. The Nittany Lions will look to stay unbeaten Saturday as they face Northwestern at Ryan field. The Wildcats have been all over the board this season, playing Wisconsin tight, but getting blown out by Duke. Penn State will look to build on its defensive takeaways from the Indiana win. Expect many turnovers from the Wildcats.
Penn State 47, Northwestern 13.
Matt Lingerman, sports intern (Season record 5-0): Even though Penn State came out of the first quarter with a 28-0 lead, their offense didn't really click until the second half. While Northwestern is by no means a Big Ten powerhouse, they do have a quietly potent offense that could give the Nittany Lions trouble if James Franklin's offense has another slow start. In the end, the blue and white defense will prevail. The Lions will head into the bye week undefeated.
Penn State 35, Northwestern 13.
Chris Morelli, managing editor (season record 5-0): The Nittany Lions haven’t been great in Evanston, but this is a different team, a different season. Saquon Barkley will continue his quest for the Heisman Trophy with another impressive afternoon and the Nittany Lions will head into the off week with a perfect record.
Penn State 35, Northwestern 24.
John Patishnock, beat writer (season record 5-0): The Nittany Lions need to be ready right away. It’s kind of that simple. Play sharp early, and the rest should take care of itself. And considering that the Nittany Lions are the only team in FBS this season to not allow a point in the first quarter — they’ve outscored opponents 73-0 in the opening frame — that shouldn’t be a problem.
Penn State 42, Northwestern 21.
Abbi Sales, sports intern (season record 5-0): Penn State is hungry for a more challenging opponent but this weekend's away game will not be the one they are looking for. Northwestern was highly anticipated to emerge to prominence this season but as of lately, that is not the case. With the Wildcat's lack of offense, the Nittany Lions will surely rise to victory.
Penn State 35, Northwestern 14