PSU 9-4 (6-2) last year. The 2012 Nittany Lion defense will rely upon a solid, deep front seven, backed up by a quick, young, untested secondary. A new, aggressive game plan will result in more big plays, with hopefully more good big plays than bad ones. I believe that this group, if it stays healthy, should be expected to be as good as or better than last year's group. So that's a good start.
The new offense will be unveiled. Losing the top RB and WR will offset by not having 7 Rob Bolden starts. This group should should score more points than last year's punchless outfit. The improved size and strength of the O Line should improve short-yardage situations. Expect McGLoin's pass attempts to increase to 25 per game, and his 54 % completion rate to improve to 60% or better, with a game plan purportedly more suited to his talents. (Despite his critics, last year only one of McGloin's five INTs came in the four losses, and he was only sacked 6 times!) Oh yeah, let there be Tight Ends!
Look for the D to be as good as last year, and the O to improve, whistle past the graveyard when it comes to punting and place kicking, and expect the return game to improve. So how does that manifest itself on the field, without Alabama in the non-con schedule, and a conference schedule tailor-made to allow improvement during the course of the season?
Ohio University 10-4 QB Tettleton is an above average QB, but his top two receivers are gone, as is the top running back, from a team that lost to Rutgers, Buffalo, Akron, and Ball State. OU did beat Utah State in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Expect PSU to win, it could be big. Just not in PSU's class, talent wise.
@ Virginia 8-5 Michael Rocco, 2671 yds, 13TD, 12 INT, 14 sacks. Losses to Southern Miss, North Carolina, Maryland, Va Tech, and Auburn. If Phill Simm's kid sees playing time, this could be a wipeout. PSU's D should carry the day.
Navy 5-7 Jetlagged, back from Ireland, win or lose to ND the week before, PSU should win, again, maybe big.
@ Illinois 6-7 (3-5) QB Scheelhaase 2110 yds. 13 TD, 8 INT 34 Sacks. Lost last 6 B1G games. PSU's D should dominate this game. 7 points last year. maybe less this year. PSU will be pissed about on-campus recruiting, be favored, and should win.
Northwestern 6-7 (3-5) QB Persa, Top RB, Top WR are all gone. Very bad D. Last year's PSU team scored 34 points on these guys! This year's offense may score more. PSU will be favored and we predict a win.
@Iowa 7-6 (4-4) QB Vandenberg is back, but RB Coker and WR McNutt are gone. Only scored 3 points against PSU last year. Look for a shutout this year. PSU will be favored again. Predict a win here!
Ohio State 6-7 (3-5) Disastrous 2011 season with surprise win over Wisconsin is over. Near loss to Toledo, lost last 4 games. QB Braxton Miller, leading passer and runner, is back, but 39 sacks allowed! Like PSU, this offense has only one way to go. Winning season for the Buckeyes this year, but good OSU teams have lost in Beaver Stadium. This is not a good OSU team, and an unbeaten PSU should be favored and win this tough game.
@ Purdue 7-6 (4-4) PSU
won AT beat Purdue last year. Caleb Terbush is not Drew Brees. PSU win.
@ Nebraska 9-4 (5-3) Huskers managed to squeak out a 17-14 win over a shellshocked PSU at Beaver Stadium after JoePa firing. When PSU is 9-0 going in, this game will be judged as a tossup. I'll bet on BOB coaching up McGloin more than Pelini improves Martinez. PSU in a close one!
Indiana 1-11 (0-8) Has to come to Beaver Stadium and take a beating.
Wisconsin 11-3 (6-2) Last year saw a 45-7 whipping. Key INT by McGloin, followed by a fumbled kickoff put PSU in a hole. Redd fumbling to start the 3rd quarter sealed the deal, and there was just too much QB Russell Wilson, who was a legit prospect who carved up PSU's spent D. If PSU is 11-0 going in, this could be closer than it looks from an August perspective. Can't pick the Badgers if PSU is 11-0!
BOWL GAME.....PSU announces non-con home and aways with Miami and Hawaii for the next six years. We will all be there!
For The Glory,
Get Your Pipes!
Joe from Boalsburg