Indiana remains a difficult team to predict, but this year they also feature a defense. They are a land mine ready to trip up an unsuspecting team. If Penn State comes out like they did against Purdue on the road, the Hoosiers likely won’t wear down as the Boilermakers ended up doing in the second half. I suspect the Nittany Lions will be ready and continue to roll through the back end of their schedule.
Penn State 40, Indiana 20
Saquon Barkley runs for 200 plus again. Trace throws for 250 and three touchdowns. The defense forces two turnovers. We score on special teams. I feel momentarily better about my life.
Penn State 52, Indiana 17
Penn State gets into a somewhat surprising defensive battle, at least for a half. The Lions lead at halftime 17-14 before they explode in the second half.
Penn State 45, Indiana 27
You know what, I'm trying pessimism for a change. I think this is the actual game where Penn State gets tested, and something weird happens. It's November, after all, where weird things happen. Indiana will see this game as its only non-Purdue chance at a win, and they'd rather not go into that rivalry game needing a win just to make a bowl. They will give the Lions everything they can handle, and from a defensive perspective, they'll be much more prepared to do it than they have in recent years. From an offensive perspective, the Hoosiers have finally started to get drives going. They'll clean up most of their mistakes, and wisely will choose to go for it and/or go for two on most drives, to avoid their disaster of a kicker to cost them the game. It will be a battle from start to finish, and don't be surprised if this is the game the Lions drop before finishing the regular season.
Penn State 56, Indiana 17
We'll get a bit of a rough start and some harassment from Indiana's defense. We'll lead throughout the game but it will be closer than we think before the 3rd quarter. Once we wear down the Hoosier offense and defense after the half, we'll take off, thanks to McSorely and Barkley. Barkley exceeds 200 yards and 4 TDs. PSU wins 45-17. And once again, I'll win the yearly IU - PSU football bet with my IU alum dad ... only to lose the bet again when we lose to IU in basketball.
Penn State 45, Indiana 17
Indiana has been tough at home this season, but Penn State seems to be playing better and better every week. If that trend continues, the Lions will win easily, but that asking for a lot after last week's great all-around effort. Even if the offensive efficiency drops off a bit, there should be enough defense to keep the Hoosiers at bay while Saquon Barkley finds his footing behind an improving offensive line.
Penn State 31, Indiana 20
Indiana has felt like a trap game all season, even before Penn State could see 10-2 and a New Year's Six bowl game in the distance, and Saturday has the potential to justify that fear, However, I think the defense forces at least two turnovers, and Barkley runs wild again.
Penn State 42, Indiana 21
I don't think Indiana can be a trap game anymore because everyone has talked ad nauseam about this being a trap game. Penn State rolls.
Penn State 35, Indiana 10
While the fact that this is at Indiana and the Hoosiers actually have a respectable defense to go along with their pesky offense make this a tricky game, I feel that Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley will keep the offense humming well enough to overcome all of that. If the PSU defense is able to contain Indiana's offense the way they did Ohio State and Purdue's, then you can expect this one to be a blowout. I think the Hoosiers hang tough for three quarters, but PSU solidifies its reputation as a "second half" team and pulls away in the fourth quarter.
Penn State 38, Indiana 21
Kevin Wilson's transformed Indiana into something like a normal football team. They seek balance on offense, and - in a stunning turn of events - they decided to put 11 guys out there to play "defense" when they don't have the football. They don't stink, either. Bizarre. Even the Bloomington crowd's kinda sorta gotten into the swing of things. I.e., they're showing up (sometimes).
These are strange days, my friends. It seems the (CFB) world's gone mad. And when the storms blow, and the Earth shakes, you want your house built upon rock, not sand. "Rock", as we all know, is a metaphor for a good run defense. So I think we're all gonna be okay. Everyone just needs to chill out, and stop tweeting.
PSU Some, Indiana Something Less
(originally appearing on PennLive)
PREDICTION: Last year, PSU’s excellent defense won out over the Hoosiers’ high-powered offense, neutralizing then-quarterback Zander Diamont, in for the injured Nate Sudfeld in a punting extravaganza that saw both sides combine for 18 punts. This year will be quite different. Indiana is better than in 2015, but the Nittany Lions are A LOT better. The Hoosier defense has been the stars of their show so far this year, but Penn State’s offense under Joe Moorhead has hit its stride since the second half of the Minnesota game, and it will be incredibly difficult for Kevin Wilson’s team to match pace. Their only saving grace is that it’s in Bloomington, at noon. Penn State 34, Indiana 17.
PLAYER ON THE SPOT: Jason Cabinda. After some sloppy play that led to penalties called on him last week, the defensive signal caller will need to bounce back and take control to stop legit Indiana running back Devine Redding. Redding has been used in more of a variety of ways this season, so Cabinda will need to bring his “A” game in order to control him.
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF… the game feels a lot closer than the score indicates. And Trace McSorley finally has another turnover after avoiding them in the past five games, putting PSU negative in turnover margin for the day.
(originally appearing in the Game Preview)
For weeks, I’ve been expecting a letdown from Penn State. This seems to be a natural expectation that comes with such a youthful team. But they have convinced me that they have maturity beyond their years. This is one focused football team.
It’s become obvious that behind the scenes this team has tremendous focus. They assuredly step on the practice field each Monday with full concentration of beating the next opponent on the schedule and not allowing them to get caught up in the success of the previous week.
I’d normally expect to see a team sleepwalking throughout the afternoon with a noon kickoff at Indiana. Not this team. While I can see a similar first half to Purdue where they need time to adjust, I expect the Nittany Lions to have another big day and the defense to go into lockdown mode after giving up a couple quick scores.
Barkley gains more than 200 all-purpose yards yet again to go with two touchdowns, which Saeed Blacknall leads the team in receiving yards and finds the end zone again this week. On defense, Kevin Givens picks up two sacks while Jason Cabinda has a big afternoon with 14 tackles.
Penn State 45, Indiana 21