Jersey Nick: I originally planned on making this prediction somewhere in the ballpark of Michigan 1,000 Penn State 2, but had a change of heart. Yes, I do still think the Nittany Lions will fall for the 2nd time in as many weeks, but I think it will be a great game. The defense will play poorly again, but will get a few turnovers mixed in to keep the score close. The offense will play well enough to win, but will find themselves down 4 with 2:38 to play in the game. On a 4th and 3, Hack will try to force a pass to Allen Robinson, which will be deflected and picked off, sealing Penn State's fate. That being said, I would obviously love for the Lions to prove me wrong.
And because it worked out so well for the UCF game (Wasn't even upset afterwards), we will again be participating in a rousing round of "Let's Wake Up to Start Drinking at 6" in the Polak residence. However, luckily for some of you, you will get to witness this in person! So let us all drink and make poor decisions together this weekend. Beer's on Cari. Go State.
Galen: After last week's defensive collapse in the second half, it's apparent that this year's Penn State team just doesn't have the talent and experience we were used to last season. That's not necessarily a condemnation of the guys here now but more a nod to the talent and heart that last year's seniors played with. It's a different year and a different team and like it or not, the sanctions are hurting us to some degree especially with depth.
Penn State's offense showed it's really green yet, in a lot of aspects. I'm not worried, they'll get better as the year goes on and they play together. As a side note if you're still thinking about jumping off a Penn State cliff go read bscaff's amazing Film Room write up about the offense in the first half last week. If that doesn't make you feel better then go drink a fifth of something. I just don't think Penn State will be able to keep up with Michigan. Penn State loses again, people start blaming everything in their sites, and some anonymous person buys the rights to FireBillO'Brien.com.
Chad: It turns out Indiana is just really good.
Penn State 31-21
bscaff: Who remembers the last time Penn State beat a higher ranked, top 20 opponent? No seriously - does anyone remember? 2005 Ohio State was one, but I don't know if we had any since then. Northwestern was ranked 24th last year when McGloin scrambled to glory, so...almost on that one. And Nebraska was 19th last year, maybe? (for the woulda-coulda-shoulda category).
Whatever. Here's the thing: our run defense only blows donkeys when the other team throws the ball successfully. And the other team has only thrown the ball successfully when their QB is at least a competent(+) passer. Well good news, folks - Devin Gardner hasn't looked like a competent passer for most of the season. Runner? Sure. Scramble around, dazzle us with some broken field running, or maybe chuck a ball deep down the sideline? Yup - he'll do that. But read a defense, take a snap, drop back, and throw a ball on-time, on-target, for a first down? He's done that as often as he's turned the ball over - that is to say, about 10 times so far this season. If we can contain the run, and contain Gardner's improvisation, and maybe force a few Gardner turnovers that he's been only too willing to provide...I think we get the season turned back around, with a signature win for angry BOB face.
Here's another thing, while I'm at it: BOB's pissed off. Indiana out worked us, and was more physical, particularly in the second half. Meanwhile, Michigan thinks all's well in its world, now that they rolled over a hungover, coachless Goofer squad. The white out, the anger, the pent up frustration...Penn State shocks us and Michigan with its intensity early, forces a few turnovers, introduces some 'here-we-go-again' doubt on the Michigan sideline, and pulls off the upset.
Penn State 28-27
Cari: I prefer to be pessimistic. I think I've laid that out well in the past, with my 7-5 preseason prediction (the one thing that is leading me to think I may be wrong this week, though, is our illustrious friend HBeach's confidence going into Saturday).
That being said, I just don't think this team is good enough to defeat an undefeated Michigan team. Plus, it's a white out, which means my sister will be wearing her white out pants despite the fact that we've lost every time she wears them.
Bill: After last week's debacle, I'm letting my inner pessimist pick this one. How can anyone say otherwise after last week? I doubt the team fixed all of its glaring issues in the few days they had, and I don't think that playing at home will suddenly make them remember how to play lockdown defense or have the offense look all that much better, especially because Michigan is better than Indiana. I hate this. I really hate this. Can it just be basketball season, already?
Old Nick: After an atrocious performance coming off a bye week, O'Brien and company attempt to refocus efforts in their return home. The defense issues haven't improved, but have been exacerbated by an accurate QB. Gardner has not proved to be that type of passer thus far this season and as long as Penn State displays a modicum of tackling prowess should keep the game manageable. On offense, the ground game allows Hack to settle down and get into a groove with his receivers beyond Allen Robinson and put up just enough points to pull out the victory.
Penn State 27-24
From The Podcast:
Dan: Michigan 27-23
Adam: Michigan 31-27
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