Coming off of two losses, Penn State is at a pivotal stretch in the season, so now seemed like a good time for some mid-season predictions on how the Nittany Lions will finish out the year.
Penn State bounces back to defeat Indiana handily, but struggles mightily against the Hawkeyes, eking out a narrow win. Michigan is a taller order than even I thought in the preseason, and the Nittany Lions fall on the road to drop to 6-3. Wisconsin’s offense has shown cracks so far this year, and the athletic defense should be able to slow down (not stop) Jonathan Taylor and get to 7-3. The Nittany Lions steamroll Rutgers, and outlast a competitive Maryland team to finish at 9-3.
Pessimistic Lando feels very strange about predicting a nice finish.
I have a real hard time predicting many wins right now. Put me down for Rutgers as a win; Indiana, Iowa, and Maryland as toss-ups; Michigan and Wisconsin as losses. Best case 8-4, worst case 5-7. Shoot the gap and say 7-5 perhaps? Bowl eligible more likely than not, but I need to see some major changes from the coaching and execution for me to start having the good feels about this team again.
The team that played Ohio State is a Top 6-ish team in the country. The team that played Michigan State isn’t even in the Top 25. So who are these Nittany Lions? Probably somewhere in the middle -- which for me, going into the season, is about what I thought. Last February, I had the Nittany Lions at 9-3, and then talked myself into 10-2 by the time the season came around. I thought we’d see flashes, but that the turnover from 2017-to-2018 would lead to some holes. Now granted, I didn’t think an average Michigan State squad would upend the Nittany Lions at home, but the ebb and flow of this season isn’t *too* surprising to me either.
So that being said: I think 9-3 or 8-4 is most likely. I think we’ll have a better idea after this weekend, but I’ll remain positive and go with 9-3.
Do not let that clunker of a game against Michigan State fool you, Penn State remains a very good football team. Does it have issues with depth and experience? Absolutely. Have there been coaching mistakes the last 5 quarters? Absolutely. Will the Nittany Lions bounce back? Most likely. Iowa and Wisconsin are far from gimmie games, but I believe this team goes 5-1 down the stretch with their lone loss coming against Michigan as the Nittany Lions finish 9-3.
This team probably has more overall talent than the rest of the remaining opponents, but recurring mistakes will cost them at least two more ball games. The Nittany Lions are six games into the season, yet dropped passes, inopportune penalties, breakdowns in coverage, among other things, continue to persist. Outside of Rutgers, there is nothing close to an easy victory. If they don’t clean up their act, an 8-4 season could be generous at this point. For the record, I predict they will lose to Iowa and the split either Wisconsin or Michigan in early November.
This team was never truly playoff-caliber, much as we wanted to believe with the way they played against OSU. However, they are capable of being far better than what they displayed last Saturday. Look for them to bounce back against Indiana on the road (albeit in the painful, nail-biting, fashion they typically do). After that, I think they at the very least split between home contests against Iowa and Wisconsin, while losing on the road at Michigan in between. Rutgers is the lone gimmie win left, followed by Maryland on Senior Day, which could be a particularly tricky one if the Terps are sitting at 5-6 wins and looking to solidify a bowl berth by beating their so-called “rival.”
As much as I would love a 9-3 finish with the possibility of having three cosnecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in school history should they win the bowl game, I just think this team hasn’t shown the level of consistency (looking at you, receiving department and pass rush) yet to have me believing such will happen. Thus, I’ll go with 8-4.
I believe the next two weeks will tell us a lot about this team. Either way, I think they pull out wins the next two weeks but I can’t rule out a loss to Iowa. A loss to Iowa, could start a chain reaction as Michigan and Wisconsin follow the Hawkeyes. I would say this team could bounce back from a bad loss but I’m just not sure anymore. Either way, they’ll drop one more game this season, probably to Michigan.
Maaaaaaaan, this team is like the
shitty terrible ex who you convince yourself isn’t so shitty terrible because, hey, at least it’s somebody.
They’ve given me every reason to walk away and find someone else. I mean, when you know, you know, right? Alas, here I am like a dope running back to them. Stupid Trace McSorley and his big, dumb smile.
The Nittany Lions get it sorted out. Mostly.
They lose to Michigan but win the rest. Iowa and Wisconsin games will be a struggle but they’ll pull it out. This is what I keep telling myself while stress eating through this season.