Penn State – Rutgers
Matchup: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-5) @ Penn State Nittany Lions (6-4)
Where: Beaver Stadium
When: Saturday, November 20th @ 12:00pm EST
Just like that we are already approaching Penn State’s final home game of the season. It will be Senior Day on Saturday and although this season didn’t go how the Nittany Lions and many of us fans planned, it is still nice to send players like Jahan Dotson off with a win. Greg Schiano and Rutgers is what is standing in their way of win. Can they pull it off? The For the Glory team tells us their predictions.
Brandon Musso (6-4)
I was quite optimistic that Penn State could pull off the upset over Michigan last week but they fell just short. Although it was a loss, I don’t believe Penn State played a bad game. As I always say vs. top ranked teams like Michigan on Saturday, Penn State needs to be perfect. The smallest mistakes are something good teams take advantage of. As was the case against Ohio State, Penn State was right in the game with a good chance at winning the entire way. It came down to just a few mistakes that turned the game in the Wolverines’ favor.
This week Rutgers comes to town with a much better team that we’ve seen in recent years. Sitting at 5-5, the Scarlet Knights are quite hard to assess. They have played some teams tough but have gotten blown out by others. They got blown out 52-3 at the hands of Wisconsin two weeks ago but are now coming off a 38-3 win over Indiana last week.
This is another matchup where Penn State clearly has the better talent on paper but the question is how they will come out and play. This was the same case against Illinois but we saw Illinois play more inspired and leave Beaver Stadium with the upset win. Can Rutgers do the same? I don’t think that will happen but I do think this will be an ugly game where Penn State wins a close one.
Penn State 24
Kraigen Rasalla (6-4)
Somehow, Senior Day is already here and the Lions are taking on a much improved Rutgers team. Though the Scarlet Knights are just 2-5 in conference play, they did just beat Indiana 38-3 and are looking for that elusive 6th win to become bowl eligible. This may seem like a matchup of two teams trending the opposite direction. A Rutgers team hungry to become bowl eligible facing a Penn State team disappointed they are out of NY6 Bowl contention after making one in 2016, 2017, and 2019. I think the Nittany Lions have to watch out for some trickery from Rutgers all day on Saturday. When they played Ohio State, Rutgers was running fake punts and fake field goals with no fear as a heavy under dog. I expect more of that against Penn State this weekend. I think Coach Schiano will have them hungry and ready to go. Although this may be Sean Clifford and Jahan Dotson’s final game at Beaver Stadium, I think the attention needs to go away from them and go to RB Keyvone Lee. Lee finished 2020 as Penn State’s best back and after last week’s strong performance, it’s shaping up to be the same way in 2021. Sean Clifford is a good quarterback. But, asking him to do EVERYTHING on offense is a recipe for a loss no matter who Penn State plays. I think Lee gets involved in the offense and handles full time running back duties and propels Penn State to a win.
Penn State 31
Cory Lestochi (6-4)
Hard to gauge the interest of this team and its fans heading into Rutgers this weekend. On one side of the coin, it’s Senior Day and although it’s a complicated event due to Covid-19 giving seniors another year of eligibility if they choose, it should provide some sort of motivation to come out and play well.
On the flip side, Penn State has lost four of its last five games and all of a sudden 2020 won’t be alone as far as disappointing seasons go. The Nittany Lions have virtually nothing to play for in the CFB Playoff (not even ranked) and the B1G East race. Meanwhile, Rutgers is sitting at five wins; they need one more to earn bowl eligibility.
After seeing QB Sean Clifford endure a heavy barrage against Michigan, it’s hard to put much stock in the offense when they can’t keep Clifford upright. Still, I think Penn State finds a way to get the win because I will be in attendance and I don’t wanna see a loss.
Penn State 30