The Mascot of Nightmares - Pat Lovell-US PRESSWIRE
Will it be a bounce-back week for the Nittany Lions or will they free-fall with a loss to Purdue who is winless in the conference? The BSD staff gives you their picks.
bscaff: Well lets see....Purdue took top-5 Notre Dame and top-10 Ohio State to overtime (and lost both), and more recently just got stomped by Minnesota? And they're changing QB's? And their AD issued a statement about the football team? This all sounds very Purdue-ish. Or at least, Danny Hope-ish. Throw in a few ACL injuries, and everything is perfectly normal. Or in other words, I expect a relatively quiet crowd from Ross-Ade, for a Noon ET game, where neither team looks all that good, but which Penn State manages to win by single digits while never really being in danger. Let's also factor in a nice special teams play for Purdue. Oh wait - we have a new staff, don't we? Well then, I expect a relatively quiet crowd from Ross-Ade, for a 3:30 ET game (#ChildAbuseTVRatings), where neither team looks all that good, but which Penn State wins by low double digits while never really being in danger. And we can keep the nifty Purdue special teams play in there.
Author's Note: bscaff didn't put don't a score, but I'm just gonna assume Penn State by 17.
Tim: I was rather irritated when I saw tweets/message board comments in the immediate aftermath of the loss to Ohio State suggesting that it was an emotional loss from which the team would struggle to recover and would spark a major losing skid to close out the season. If you read the comments from this week's conference calls with BOB and the senior leaders on this team, you'll find that such concerns are pure bullshit, and that they are fully focused on smashing Purdue. Following the loss to Ohio earlier this year, the team came out and (special teams gaffes aside) put on a strong performance at UVA the following week. I feel they will put on a similar performance at Purdue, except they should reach the end zone enough times to make any potential kicking woes irrelevant. Even with Robert Marve now starting at QB, the Boilers will have a difficult time moving the ball when facing pressure from the PSU front seven that has wreaked havoc on many an opponent this season. Much like the Iowa contest, look for PSU to set the tone early and never look back.
Penn State 31-14
Nick: Penn State has performed very well on the road this season. There's no indication that the loss to Ohio State is causing any sort of hangover with this team, similar to the week following Ohio and with a better understanding of the systems on both sides of the ball I expect Penn State to come right out and look effective with more positive results than they did against Virginia, finishing drives in the end zone while stifling the Boilermakers.
Penn State 24-10
Jared: Historically, Penn State has bounced back very well the week following a loss. Obviously things are different, but there's no reason to expect a letdown with the resiliency displayed by this team and staff all season. Purdue is a tough team to play against as they have come close to knocking off two undefeated teams, yet were also trounced by Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Purdue may have packed it in for the season, or they could come out swinging in a last-ditch effort to turn things around. After last week's performance against the Golden Gophers, I will go with the former. Penn State's offense gets back to form as McGloin has a 300-yard day, finding Allen Robinson early and often as well as Matt Lehman, who picks up the slack for a hobbled Kyle Carter.
Penn State 35-16
Dan: On November 15th, Penn State was playing after two losses. They needed to prove that they were a talented team and could win a game. Tomorrow, the circumstances are different; everyone knows this team is talented and are proven winners, especially when compared to a team of Purdue's caliber. I expect the same result as that Navy game though.
Stat-wise, I expect Belton and Zwinak to both go for close to 100 yards and for Allen Robinson to pick up another touchdown catch on his way to breaking every Penn State single-season receiving record there is. The defense will have a big day with Robert Marve returning to the starting lineup as Purdue's quarterback -- expect one defensive touchdown. Finally, Sam Ficken feels right back at home in the state of Indiana and, if given the opportunity, knocks two field goals through the uprights.
Penn State 34-10