Author Archives: Cory Lestochi

Week 14 Predictions: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Happy Thanksgiving from the For the Glory team! Should be a pretty straight forward weekend for the Nittany Lions. Don’t be surprised if Sean Clifford is held out and Will Levis gets the start. Rutgers is bad.

Brandon Musso (10-1) & (6-5) vs. The Spread

I talked about Penn State’s inability to recover from an emotional loss ad nauseam after their Minnesota loss. Well now we sit here after another Penn State loss. Fortunately, there isn’t a top ranked opponent waiting for them this week.

The Nittany Lions will host Rutgers at Beaver Stadium to close out the regular season. 

There’s not much to say about this matchup, Penn State may be coming off a tough loss but Rutgers is going to need more than that if they want to beat Penn State. The talent disparity is large which gives me reason to believe that Penn State will still win big.

Penn State: 45 Rutgers: 10

Kraigen Rasalla (10-1) & (4-7) vs. The Spread

The final regular season game is here and Penn State is on the verge of winning 10 games for the third time in four years. Yet again, Rutgers is one of the worst teams in college football, sitting at 2-9 entering the matchup.

Although James Franklin said Sean Clifford is a game-time decision, Will Levis proved last Saturday at Ohio State that he is more than capable of handling the reigns. I don’t expect the Penn State offense to slow down at all on Saturday.

I think Penn State will win in a blowout and will provide some of their younger players to play more snaps than we have seen all season. I’m excited to see freshmen we have not seen much this year, as well as seniors who are playing in their final game at Beaver Stadium.

Penn State picks up another 10 win season.

Penn State: 55 Rutgers: 10

Cory Lestochi (8-3) & (5-6) vs. The Spread

Rutgers is very bad. I expect a lot of freshman to play in this one. The question is whether or not they cover the spread. I say they do and have a big time day on the ground.

Penn State: 49  Rutgers: 3

Week 13 Predictions: Ohio State Buckeyes

It is finally here: judgement day for the Nittany Lions.

With the Big Ten East on the line, the Penn State Nittany Lions will be welcomed in to Ohio Stadium to face one of the most complete teams in the nation. The Buckeyes are superior in talent, statistics, and what some consider the “eye test”. Ohio State is heavily favored by 18.5 points. Still, Penn State has reason to be hopeful as a young pride finds themselves 9-1 for the first time in a long time. Let’s jump into the predictions.

Week 9-4.png

Brandon Musso (9-1) & (5-5) vs. The Spread

After a week a prep for Indiana, Penn State again struggled with the same secondary issues that ailed them in their loss to Minnesota. Despite a relatively strong start to the season, the Nittany Lion secondary has now had two consecutive weeks of serious struggles. They now face the best offense they will see all season long, Ohio State. 

The secondary is very clearly the key to the game. If Penn State wants to come out on top this weekend in Columbus, they need to limit the high powered Buckeye offense. The game will be over very quickly if the secondary continues to have the same breakdowns we have seen over the last two weeks. 

I think this game will be a lot closer than people expect but I don’t believe Penn State will come out on top. The secondary will continue to struggle and the Buckeyes will be booking their trip to Indy for another opportunity at a B1G Championship. 

Penn State: 31 Ohio State: 38

Kraigen Rasalla (9-1) & (3-7) vs. The Spread

In the biggest game of the year, the Penn State defense will have to find the magic that made them one of the best units in the nation through their first 8 games. It will not be easy as they go against the dynamic Ohio State offense led by QB Justin Fields. On the season, Fields has a touchdown to interception ratio of 31 to 1. That is pretty, pretty good.

In order to bounce back defensively, the Lions will need to generate more of a pass rush than they have in their last two games. They have 3 sacks in those two games, which is far from the expectations of Sean Spencer’s Wild Dogs.

One thing that should help slow down the Buckeyes’ offense is that rain is in the forecast. In rainy conditions against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes played sloppy and were shut out in the first quarter. However, they did rally to win 38-7. Meanwhile, Sean Clifford proved he can throw in rainy conditions, as he threw 4 touchdown passes in the rain against Michigan State.

Unfortunately, I do not think Penn State comes out of Columbus with a victory, although I do believe they cover the pretty ridiculous spread of 18 or 19 points, depending where you look.

Penn State: 17 Ohio State: 24

Cory Lestochi (8-2) & (4-6) vs. The Spread

I have dove deep into Justin Fields this week to understand the quarterback better. I think he is really good when his team is really good, but this week he was asked the last time he had to lead his team down the field to win a game. His answer? Junior year of high school.

The Buckeyes haven’t had to play anyone close and that’s a credit to how dominant they have been all season. This team is better than the Nittany Lions. I don’t think they are 18 points better so if you wanna win some money, you should jump all over that spread.

And look, on my podcast I took Ohio State to win a close-one, but thinking it over more and more today, just like the Michigan State pick (which I was entirely right on), I am going to change it up today…

 

Thanks Herb…Great moments are born from great opportunity. Penn State plays this Ohio State team 10 times, they may only win one, but maybe that’s Saturday.

Penn State: 34  Ohio State: 31

Week 11 Predictions: Minnesota Golden Gophers

8-0 vs. 8-0. The No.4 Nittany Lions can taste their goals, but first have to travel to Minnesota to take on a surprising and surging Minnesota team. Can Penn State end the Golden Gophers unbeaten season? Penn State is 6.5 point favorites heading into the weekend.Week 9-1.png

Brandon Musso (8-0) & (5-3) vs. The Spread

Penn State has survived a gauntlet of tough matchups over the last three weeks. After their success making it through those tough games, many are already looking forward to a battle of unbeatens when the Nittany Lions head to Columbus to take in Ohio State. However, there is one problem: that gauntlet is not yet over as Penn State is on the road again to face an undefeated Minnesota team. 

This game is another definite test and threat to the Nittany Lions undefeated record. As it has been for the last few weeks, it is imperative that Penn State starts fast. Kickoff is set for 11:00am local time at Minnesota, a slow sluggish start because of the early game time will not bode well for the Nittany Lions.

The biggest key to this game will be Penn State’s ability to get to the quarterback. The past two games have not played in their favor as they struggled to get any sustained pressure on the opposing quarterback. Solid defensive play starts upfront and in order for the Nittany Lions to come home with a win, the defensive line needs to get back on track. 

I think the defensive line returns to form and helps limit the Minnesota offense as the Nittany Lions win another close one.

Penn State: 24 Minnesota: 14

Kraigen Rasalla (8-0) & (3-5) vs. The Spread

One of the two games between undefeated teams this week, Penn State and Minnesota are both coming off bye weeks heading into this highly anticipated match-up. Penn State was tested by their recent schedule, playing at Iowa and against Michigan before beating Michigan State on the road. Now, they will start their challenging back third of their schedule in Minneapolis.

Penn State comes in as the favorite and as the #4 team in the country, and for good reason. Their big play offense is combined with their #2 ranked scoring defense.

The weather forecast is looking like a cold afternoon in Minnesota, but that shouldn’t affect Penn State QB Sean Clifford, as he excelled in throwing accurate passes in the cold rain at Michigan State. A lot will be on his plate as Penn State has yet to develop a consistent running game.

I expect Sean Clifford to lead Penn State by finding his favorite receiver KJ Hamler. In addition, I think this will be the game where WR Justin Shorter has his break out game. Shorter has just 9 catches for 109 yards. I expect him to make 5 catches for at least 75 yards and unleash his potential in this huge match-up.

Penn State takes care of business on the road and passes another test in their quest for a perfect season.

Penn State: 31 Minnesota: 17

Cory Lestochi (7-1) & (4-4) vs. The Spread

Minnesota is good, but they don’t have the horses to run with the Nittany Lions late. All week this defense has been hearing about how big this Minnesota offensive line is. Let’s see how this high powered Golden Gopher attack does against an actual defense and a real starting quarterback–two things Minnesota hasn’t faced for over a month.

Clifford and Co. make enough plays to keep this one safe. Minnesota’s special teams is horrendous and is the difference in this one being close and this one being a 21 point win for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State: 38  Minnesota: 17

 

Picture by Kami Brand.

Hardcore College Football, Penn State-Minnesota Preview

Cory Lestochi joined up with Caleb Sipe from SidelinesUMN to discuss this battle of unbeatens. You can find them on Twitter @HardcoreCollegeFootball or on Facebook @HardcoreCollegeFootball!

Here is their link on twitter:

They are also on Spotify, Castbox, and Apple Podcasts under Hardcore College Football.

What are your thoughts on the game?

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