Your long wait is over. It's only A.J. Wallace until Penn State football. As is the tradition, Friday is dedicated to your BSD moderators giving their keys to the game and making their predictions.
Yeah, yeah, the Zips will likely enjoy some pitch-and-catch success between the 20's, especially as the Penn State secondary settles in. Don't let it fool you -- Akron won't be able to block Penn State's defensive line (especially Jared Odrick) and will be forced into multiple 3rd-and-forever situations that will yield some turnovers. Akron's not awful or anything, and should be competing for the MAC title toward the end of the season. Still, Penn State's offense will prove to be way too much for Akron to stop. It'll be a beautiful day -- enjoy the tailgating, the return of college football, and an early-season Penn State romp. Backup Akron QB Matt Rodgersgets just enough fourth-quarter scoring in an emptying (and quieting) Beaver Stadium to cover the 27-point spread against PSU's green defensive reserves.
Penn State 45 - Akron 20
Penn State should control this game, but I don't think it's going to be the blowout everyone is expecting. Until I see them in action, I have to believe the offensive line is going to look a little lost, and the wide receivers will struggle to get open. And when they do get open, I expect them to drop some passes. With a new kicker fighting off the jitters and pretty likely to miss a field goal or two, it all adds up to Penn State turning in a lower than expected score.
But the defense should be able to snag this one in the bag. Akron isn't going to do anything in the running game, but I'm a bit concerned about the experience they have at quarterback and in the wideouts. This should serve as a good test for the Penn State secondary as I believe the Zips can pass the ball probably as well as any team we'll face in the Big Ten. We should see the BBDS defense in full force tomorrow, but I'm looking for the inexperienced secondary to blow a coverage or two which will set up Akron for some easy scores.
Penn State 33 - Akron 17
Week one is becoming increasingly bland but there are things about Akron that could make the game interesting. While they are still a long shot for the upset (the only Top 25 teams playing bigger dogs are USC and Texas), their strengths on offense play into Penn State’s defensive question. Can the secondary keep up with a veteran set of receivers? Can the d-line attack an experienced quarterback?
Probably. Akron is dedicated to the pass, and I expect 35+ attempts, but they failed so miserably against decent defenses it’s hard to predict too much doom when the bad guys have the ball. The general public seems to like Penn State to cover, but I think the offense slows down too early to overcome the 4th quarter garbage.
Penn State 41 - Akron 17