PREDICTION TIME… Can Penn State Pull off the Upset?
Usually, Ohio State week is one of the most exciting times of the year for a Penn State fan. A night game, a whiteout, and a Penn State team playing good football typically has fans confident the Nittany Lions will beat the Buckeyes. It is still a 7:30 PM kickoff at Beaver Stadium. But, COVID-19 is preventing any size crowd, never mind over 110,000 people jamming inside Beaver Stadium. On top of that, Penn State lost their season opener, 36-35 in overtime, to Indiana by making way too many mistakes to allow the Hoosiers to come away with the victory.
That loss took the wind out of the sails nationally, as Penn State fell to 18th in the rankings and Ohio State is now favored by 12 on the road. Let’s see what the For The Glory team thinks will happen this Saturday night.
Cory Lestochi (0-1)
It seems too early to already be talking Ohio State, but here we are. The Buckeyes started off slow last week against Nebraska and perhaps that’s the only reason for optimism for the Nittany Lions. If Penn State plays like they played last week against Indiana than they will lose by 40. If they play the complete opposite, then we might be in for a hell of a game.
A lot will depend on what version of Sean Clifford we get on Saturday night. Will we get good footwork and confident Sean? Or will we get overthrows and anxiety in the pocket, Sean? No Noah Cain hurts especially since this OSU defense is NOT the same defense Penn State saw in The Horseshoe last year. Finally, I expect Penn State’s defense to do their part, but will it matter?
They do their part, Penn State covers but doesn’t win unless they get a touchdown on special teams or defense.
Ohio State: 33
Penn State: 27
Brandon Musso (0-1)
I have been pretty optimistic before this year but I don’t have much confidence in Penn State to win this game. Throughout the past couple years we have seem them get down after losses and when you look at the fashion in which they loss last week it seems like a tall task to take down one of the top teams in the country.
Justin Fields is a special player who is going to be a real challenge for the Penn State defense to contain. The Nittany Lions are a talented enough to hang with the Buckeyes but they need to play a perfect game to beat them. I think this one will stay close but Penn State will make one too many mistakes and lose in the end.
Ohio State 35
Penn State 31
Kraigen Rasalla (0-1)
I admittedly am one of the most optimistic Penn State fans you will find out there. I definitely see the good side of things instead of the bad. And, even with the bad side of things, I see the positives in how the Nittany Lions can correct them. Last week against Indiana, Penn State dominated in every way, that is the positive. But, they made special teams mistakes, had 10 penalties, and three turnovers, that is the negative. But, to spin that into a positive, do we think Penn State is going to make those same mistakes two weeks in a row? I do not think so.
Justin Fields scares me beyond belief and I can easily see him walking into Beaver Stadium for the first time since he was a Penn State commit and just turn this game into his own personal 7-on-7 workout. But, I think that this Penn State defense is up to the test. Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney will pressure him off the edge and force him into some difficult decisions.
I think Sean Clifford is the key to this game. We saw in 2018, Trace McSorley was able to almost single-handedly beat the Buckeyes by both throwing and running. If Sean Clifford can be the Sean Clifford we saw to start the game and end the game against Indiana, Penn State has a great chance to win against a weaker Ohio State defense than we have seen in the last few years. If he is the Sean Clifford we saw in the middle of the Indiana game, throwing inexcusable interceptions and forcing the offense to stall, Penn State has no chance of hanging with Fields and the rest of the Buckeyes.
I think we get the best version of Penn State this week, we always do against Ohio State. The Nittany Lions pull it off on Saturday.
Penn State 33
Ohio State 27