bscaff: This time it's the other squad with the (mostly) brand new coaching staff, and first time head coach. Fun Fact: Syracuse is 2-9 against the BigTen since 2006. By Sunday, it'll be 2-10. Penn State gets 2 or 3 big plays on offense, taking advantage of defensive missed assignments. We protect the ball, and keep it, running 90+ offensive plays, with 165 yards on the ground. We force 4 three and outs, and 2 turnovers. We start the season happy. Syracuse does not.
Penn State 24-13
Galen: Penn State is an 8 point favorite at the time I'm writing this with an over/under of 52, depending on who you look at. I think PSU covers but the two teams don't make the over. Last season everything was new, this season the coaching staff is more comfortable and the team as a whole has been through this already, we won't see a repeat of last year. I think O'Brien comes out fast, opens things up and scores early. The game will be closer than some think but by the 4th quarter the Syracuse defense will be tired of getting pounded by Zwinak. Penn State starts the season off a lot better then they did last year.
Penn State 28-17
Devon: Where a rookie starting quarterback will struggle most is when the field is compressed the most, and when Penn State gets into the red zone, Syracuse's terrific linebacking corps will be on full display. Fortunately, Sam Ficken rides a wave of consistency--and of off-season excellence, if reports are to be trusted--and a trusted kicker is a young passer's best friend. Rest assured, Penn State will be able to move the ball: Syracuse's untested defensive line is liable to be bullied at the point of attack, and its young defensive back corps will a) probably lose Allen Robinson at least once or twice and b) have no clue how to defend the three- and four-tight end sets that BOB will throw at them. And while Syracuse returns a terrific duo of ball carriers, they'll be working in a lot of new pieces on the offensive line, and it seems likely that Terrel Hunt will get the nod at QB. Penn State's biggest weakness is depth at corner, and Hunt won't test them. Let the CBs sit on the short routes with Amos, Obeng-Agyapong, Willis, and Keiser provide run support, let LJSR and Vandy's units do their thing, and Penn State should have one of its traditional bend-but-don't-break defensive outputs, maybe with a turnover or two thrown in.
Penn State 23-10
Bill: I think this is an ugly, ugly game, just because of the young QB's going up against fairly seasoned defenses, along with both teams relying heavily on their running game. The big difference, in my opinion, is that Penn State's coaching staff didn't receive a complete overhaul during the offseason. I think Penn State jumps out to an early lead and holds off Syracuse for the entire game. Zwinak, Belton, and Lynch don't run all over Syracuse, but they do enough damage that the Orange are worn down by the fourth quarter. The secondary looks much better than they actually are against a meh Syracuse passing game, the front seven pummels and confuses Syracuse, and at least one BSDer wakes up on a subway to Queens without their wallet.
Penn State 24-13
Jersey Nick: Despite the wild optimism on the part of the Orange faithful on their message boards, I don't think there's much to be scared of here. I do think Cuse will score first, though. Penn State will receive the ball, and subsequently turn it over in some way, leading to a quick score. After that, I think O'Brien will dial up a heavy dose of Zwinak/Belton/Lynch, and pound Cuse into oblivion. I think Penn State will do most of their scoring before the final quarter, with Ficken hitting a 47 yarder in that 4th quarter. As for notable game performances, look for Barnes to open the year with 2 sacks, Hull to put up 12 tackles, Trevor Williams to snare an interception, and Eugene Lewis to pick up his first collegiate touchdown, on a screen pass that goes for upwards of 45 yards. And I will happily consume copious amounts of alcohol from either the fine employees of the Second/The Clover/The bar above the Phyrst, or a keg. Go State.
Penn State 27-10
Chad: 'Cuse's backfield will provide a decent test for Penn State's defense, but the Lions will prevail quite easily due to their efficiency in the passing game, an attack which will feature Hackenberg and Ferguson equally. Neither will win the job outright because they'll both tear apart the Orange's porous secondary (at least 200 yards each). Geno Lewis will lead the team in receiving, and Akeel Lynch will walk in a garbage time TD from about 35 yards. Sam Ficken will hit two field goals including a 40-yarder. Bold prediction: Nick will get thrown out of the Second/The Clover/The bar above the Phyrst at night.
Penn State 34-13
From the Podcast:
Dan: Penn State 24-16
Adam: Penn State 27-21
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