James Franklin has spent the week insuring the Nittany Lions won’t get caught looking ahead and prevent this game from being too competitive. Tommy Stevens and Miles Sanders will eat in the second half. As a Penn State fan, you really just want to avoid any further injuries while you take care of your business.
Penn State 60, Rutgers 6
Rutgers is bad. Penn State isn't. Saquon gon' eat.
Penn State 69 Rutgers 0
The remaining two games is where Penn State's resolve gets tested. Will they, convinced that they're better than what's in front of them, come out flat and potentially drop a game? Will they come out firing on all cylinders to prove to everyone who continues to doubt them the they are, in fact, a good team? It will be interesting to see which scenario unfolds.
As per Rutgers, this is a team that, on paper, doesn't really have the horses to keep pace with the Nittany Lions. If luck strikes and the Scarlet Knights are able to slow down the Penn State offense, they may not be able to make up for it on their own offensive side of the ball. Their best offensive player, Janarion Grant, has been out since the first half against Iowa (which is not coincidentally the last time the Rutgers offense looked capable of consistently moving the ball on opponents). Rutgers has shown to get a big play here and there against the middle of the Big Ten, but has done absolutely nothing against the top. This will continue to be the case on Saturday.
Penn State 56, Rutgers 17
At the beginning of the season, I thought Rutgers could pose a test to Penn State.
It seems I was wrong.
Penn State moves the ball despite the injuries on the offensive line, and shuts down an already average offense.
Penn State 45, Rutgers 10
Clay beat me to my score prediction. This makes me sad. Though not as sad as Rutgers is going to be around 11:30 PM on Saturday. Saquon and Trace rip off big play after big play from the RPO, and the starters are pulled in the third quarter.
Penn State 48, Rutgers 7
Rutgers' only "strength" -- if you wanna call it that -- is its defensive line. Darius Hamilton and Julian Pinnix-Odrick are two very solid defensive linemen, so against an injured Penn State offensive line, I think you could see Rutgers have some success stopping the running game. But this game really shouldn't be and won't be close.
Penn State 54, Rutgers 7
Rutgers has had some games this conference season in which they've been very competitive and others in which they've been completely destroyed. Penn State has only dominated on the road for about three quarters this season, and that includes a whole game against Purdue. Penn State wins, but don't expect the Knights to just roll over.
Penn State 35, Rutgers 10
Penn State is good. Rutgers is bad. Trust me on this one.
Penn State 52, Rutgers 10
Rutgers' offense averages 295.2 yards per game - worst in all of college football. If "worst in football" isn't enough description, let me provide a bit more color: that's about 50 yards fewer than John Donovan's worst offense.
Half a hundred worse than the worst Johnny D.....my goodness.
PSU Many, Rutgers Few
(originally appearing on PennLive)
PREDICTION: Two years ago, Penn State and Rutgers was a big game; it was the Scarlet Knights' inaugural Big Ten conference game against a much-hated foe, with a coach who was poaching recruits from under their nose. Rutgers talked a big game, but thanks to some stunning arm punt pyrotechnics from Gary Nova, they fell just short--and the return trip to Happy Valley last season was even more lopsided. This year, with PSU playing its best football under James Franklin and Rutgers arguably the worst team in the B1G, it gets even worse--unless you're a Penn State fan. Penn State 59, Rutgers 10.
PLAYERS ON THE SPOT: the entire offensive line. Now that Andrew Nelson and Paris Palmer are out for the season, and with Brendan Mahon questionable, the backup tackles will need to step up. Ryan Bates filled in admirably against Indiana after not taking any prior snaps on the outside of the line, but this ending stretch is when coach Matt Limegrover will earn his paycheck.
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF... Tommy Stevens starts playing near the end of the third quarter and ends up with more yards on the ground than Trace McSorley.
(originally appearing in the Game Preview)
The injuries along the offensive line have taken a toll, and seemed to be at a breaking point last week as the Nittany Lions needed a fourth quarter rally to escape an upset at Indiana. The overall inexperience and current lack of depth should be alarming for any Nittany Lions fan, considering that poor play by that unit can completely sink a game plan, leading to a lack of production and oftentimes a tired defense that wears down in the second half.
Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, they’re running into Rutgers at just the right time. Even with a banged up line, the current starters should be able to get the job done against a shoddy Scarlet Knights defense on Saturday. It also gives them more time to gel, and as we’ve learned from this team, experience and familiarity goes a long way with a young group that continues to buck expectations and improve in front of our eyes on a weekly basis.
Saquon Barkley finishes with three touchdowns, including a 60-yard scamper while Miles Sanders hits the century mark for the first time as a Nittany Lion. For the third time in four weeks, Chris Godwin finds the end zone twice. Penn State’s defensive line puts on a show, with Garrett Sickels leading the charge with 2.5 sacks, while Kevin Givens and Evan Schwan also chipping in 1.5 apiece. Curtis Cothran also contributes 3 tackles for loss and a pass deflection.
Penn State 48, Rutgers 10