Matchup: No. 18 Penn State (4-2) vs. Indiana (4-3)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN
When: Saturday October 20th, 2018 at 3:30 EST
Penn State Offense vs. Indiana Defense
Penn State is back on the road after another gut-wrenching loss at the hands of Michigan State last Saturday in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions will head west to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers. The Penn State offense’s performance was not particularly good last week. They went into the game facing the best run defense in the country but also one of the worst passing defenses in the country. Somehow, they managed to rush for over 200 yards but a struggling Trace McSorley threw for only 192 yards and a touchdown. The offense overall managed just 17 points in the 21-17 loss.
Indiana is also coming off a loss as they were just blown out at home by Iowa. They now sit at 4-3 on the season. Fortunately for Penn State, their defense is has given up a lot of point this season. They are currently averaging just over 28 points and 385 yards allowed-per-game. They are not particularly strong in either passing or rushing defense. Rather they are middle of the road in both and can be considered a more balanced defense.
Individually, Indiana has a few impact players to watch. The first one is Dameon Willis Jr. He is a senior linebacker who holds the team lead in total tackles. Willis is an experience vet that is the leader of their defense. He figures to be a big part of their success. Aside from Willis, it is hard to overlook Marcelino Ball. Ball is a hybrid player that is listed as a defensive back but is a versatile player that is disruptive in the backfield. He leads the team with five tackles-for-loss and is tied for the team lead with two sacks. In the secondary, you can’t miss safety Jonathon Crawford. Crawford is one of the best athletes on the field as he has an interception, is second on the team in total tackles with 35 while he also has three tackles-for-loss and a sack.
Penn State Defense vs. Indiana Offense
By: Kraigen Rasalla
Following a disappointing week against Michigan State, the Nittany Lions look to rebound against Indiana this Saturday. Here is how the Hoosier offense matches up with the Nittany Lion defense.
QB Peyton Ramsey leads a Hoosier offense that likes to throw the football. Ramsey has thrown an average of 44 passes per game over the last four games, where the Hoosiers have gone 1-3. Ramsey has had a respectable touchdown to interception rate, as well, sitting at 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions for the season. In addition, Ramsey is the second leading rusher for the Hoosiers and has three touchdowns using his legs. He definitely is a solid dual threat QB and one that if he finds a rhythm, then he could frustrate the Penn State defense.
On the ground, the Hoosiers will feature Stevie Scott as essentially the lone threat in the backfield. Scott has a 200 yard performance against Virginia under his belt this season and maintains an average of just under 80 yards per game. Look for the freshman tailback to serve as a receiving threat with his 10 catches this season, as well.
With Indiana airing it out quite often this season, there have been several targets that have stepped up to make big contributions. Seven receivers have at least 18 catches this season with J-Shun Harris II, Nick Westbrook, and Donavan Hale leading the way.
Brandon Musso: (5-1)
Michigan State all but ended Penn State’s chances at the B1G Championship and a possible College Football Playoff bid. Penn State now sits 4-2 on the season as they have to stop the bleeding and put the last two losses behind them. Although this is a road game, it is certainly not one of the tougher atmospheres to play in. Penn State has the superior talent on paper and I think the “1-0 this week” mentality should help them concentrate on this game. I do still think however that this game will be closer than most may expect. Penn State should sneak out with a one to two possession victory.
Penn State 31 Indiana 24
Kraigen Rasalla: (4-2)
Following one of the more disappointing losses in the last few seasons, I think the Nittany Lions will rebound with an inspired performance on the road. The Hoosiers will be competitive and have their moments throughout the game, but I think the Nittany Lions will pull away and prevail.
Penn State 34 Indiana 24