You’re going to see a recurring theme of a letdown game. All the elements are there: coming off landmark win, noon kickoff, on the road, against a team with an interim coach. To their credit, Penn State has been doing and saying all the right things this week, but I would not be shocked by a return to their slow start/first half selves. The second should see the Nittany Lions cruise to a victory. The biggest thing is keep everyone healthy, while hopefully give the back-ups some extended playing time later in the game.
Penn State 33, Purdue 13
Purdue is bad. Like, really bad. They got the new coach bump last week, but it won't last. I think PSU uses the OSU win as a spark and steamrolls the Boilermakers. Saquon and Miles Sanders both score on long touchdown runs. The defense forces multiple turnovers. Penn State rolls.
Penn State 41, Purdue 17
I can see why a letdown could happen, but it isn't going to happen this week.
Penn State goes nuts on offense (at least two runners top 100 yards), and score both a defensive and special teams touchdown in the win.
Penn State 38, Purdue 10
Yeah, yeah, letdown schletdown. Franklin probably spent the entire week telling his team to not **** this up for him. Team comes out inspired, ready to prove that last Saturday wasn't an anomaly. Purdue will throw some new wrinkles as they did against Nebraska, but, as with Nebraska, they won't be enough to stop Penn State, or to keep pace with them. Best case scenario, this game is over by halftime. Worst case, we have to wait three quarters.
Penn State 56, Purdue 17
The Penn State Pessimism™ tells me that we gon' lose our fancy foosball game this weekend. That. Ain't. Happenin'. After playing some of the best defenses in the country through the first 7 games, Penn State gets to feast on some not-so-good defenses in the second half of the season, starting this weekend. The McSorley/Barkley duo runs amok, the suddenly healthy defense shuts down Purdue, and the backups play the entire fourth quarter. Good guys roll.
Penn State 42, Purdue 7
Penn State gon' win this one with Barkley taking charge and a defense that's on fire. Purdue's defense will be better than we think, so it won't be as high scoring as it could be but ...
Penn State 38, Purdue 7
Purdue is not particularly good at football. Penn State still isn't awesome, but they qualify as good. Purdue cannot stop the run, and Penn State has run the ball well lately. This adds up to a dominant Penn State win.
Penn State 38, Purdue 10
The chances of a letdown of some sort are really inevitable. Going from beating the No. 2 team in primetime in front of 107,000 fans to playing at 11 a.m. in front of an empty stadium -- unless Penn State is full of robots, there's going to be a letdown. And especially when you look at these Nittany Lions, a team that -- outside of the Maryland affair -- has started games slow.
Now, that being said, Penn State isn't going to lose this football game. I think James Franklin has done a great job this week turning the focus to Purdue, and really, it's Purdue. The Nittany Lions might start slow, but there's just too much talent disparity between these two teams. Trace McSorley throws for 250 yards, run for 100 yards, displays a ton of moxie, and stakes his claim as king of West Lafayette.
Penn State 44, Purdue 19
I recall saying a few weeks ago during a chat in the BSD slack channel, that my biggest fear about Purdue was that they would fire Darrell Hazell right before their game against Penn State. Usually, when a team is debuting an interim coach, the players play more loose and said interim coach usually throws a few wrinkles into the game plan that no opposing coach can possibly prepare for.
Fortunately for PSU, Nebraska was the guinea pig for Gerad Parker. Despite that however, Purdue does have enough playmakers on offense to keep this one competitive. While I’m not worried about the Nittany Lions coming out flat, they still will likely get challenged and could find themselves having to play from behind. Don’t be surprised if this is only a one touchdown game at the half, but PSU using its superiority from a talent and depth standpoint, pulls away in the late 3rd/early 4th quarter and grits out a tough road win in a sleepy environment in West Lafayette.
Penn State 34, Purdue 17
The improved Penn State defense is the star of the show, pressuring Purdue quarterback David Blough into sacks and turnovers. To take advantage, Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, and Trace McSorley combine to rush for 250 yards. Yay optimism!
Penn State 34, Purdue 14
Some people are calling for a letdown after this past week's big win over Ohio State. I'm not one of them.
If we played Indiana or Iowa this week, I'd be very worried. But despite the scare they gave Nebraska last week, Purdue just isn't a very good football team this year. Both their offense and defense are one dimensional, and our players and coaches know how to study tape and gameplan for opponents.
Saquon will get 200 yards on the ground, and McSorley will get almost another 100. Whether all of that translates into points on the board is yet to be seen, but Tommy Stevens will see significant snaps before the day is through.
Penn State 39, Purdue 17
(originally appearing in the Game Preview)
Penn State gets off to a sluggish start, which is only human nature following an emotional upset victory under the lights the previous week. By the second quarter, the ground game gets rolling to give the Nittany Lions a 20-10 lead going into the half, and the team never looks back from there.
Saquon Barkley finishes with 170 yards and a touchdown, while Miles Sanders gets in on the action with 60 yards and a touchdown of his own. Trace McSorley also finds Chris Godwin deep on a 50-yard bomb.
The defense allows a couple early scores, but then clamp down, forcing four turnovers. Malik Golden and Grant Haley each pick off a pass, while Garrett Sickels carries the momentum of an incredible second half performance against the Buckeyes with two sacks and a forced fumble.
Penn State 37 , Purdue 17