Last week was an underwhelming performance by virtually every metric. For various reasons, that may have been the worst loss James Franklin’s tenure, so we’ll see how the team responds. With the remaining schedule there is still a lot to play for, but they just have to take advantage of their opportunities. I think another slow start has the internet heating up early on, but Penn State recaptures the magic that dominated Ohio State for most of their game.
Penn State 41, Indiana 27
Indiana is not a bad team, but they’re not really a good team either. However, I said in last week’s prediction that Michigan State is not very good so what the hell do I know. Despite what has happened in their last five quarters played, Penn State is still a good team. And that will show on Saturday.
Trace McSorley is coming off the worst game of his collegiate career and I firmly believe he will bounce back on Saturday. Trace will not let this slide continue. I’m also going out on a limb and predicting a coming out part for Mac Hippenhammer in his return to his home state on Saturday.
Penn State has a history of not playing great in Bloomington, and Peyton Ramsey and the Indiana offense may give Brent Pry some trouble for two or three quarters. In the end, Penn State is too much and gets back on track.
Penn State 38, Indiana 24
I’m doing it. It’s actually happening. Are you ready for this? I don’t think you are.
Penn State is going to lose to Indiana this weekend.
For the second straight year, the team blew any chance at the playoffs, to the same two teams, and in the same two fashions. Unlike last year, there is no Barkley or Moorhead to get the offensive ball rolling again. There was no energy from the PSU sideline at all during the loss to MSU. This team is going to struggle the rest of the way, and it will start with a loss to Indiana.
Indiana 31, Penn State 24
It’s not a rut, it’s just a groove.
Penn State 30, Indiana 17
Penn State bounces back this week on the back of Miles Sanders, Trace McSorley, and KJ Hamler.
Penn State 35, Indiana 24
I would love nothing more than a complete, dominant performance from Penn State, but I doubt we see it. Still, I think Penn State bounces back, takes care of business in Bloomington, and gets a bit of that mojo back that its been missing.
Penn State 33, Indiana 21
After melting down over last weekend’s loss to Sparty, I was all set to pick IU to win outright. Alas, Chris L stole my thunder, and I’ve since calmed down enough to think that PSU will “get the dub” (how do you do, fellow kids?), but I still have no goddamn idea what the folks in Vegas are thinking making the Lions a 15.5 point favorite on the road in Bloomington. Clearly, they have not witnessed the history of the Hoosiers giving PSU a hard time at their own place. I really don’t see this iteration being much different, but for my heart’s sake, I sure hope it is.
Penn State 34, Indiana 27
I’m really late in getting my in...so Penn State bounce backs and wins comfortably but it will be ugly for a while.
Penn State 41 - Indiana 23
The Lions’ offense had its worst showing compared to its defense in the Trace McSorley area, with the signal caller looking unlike his normal self for much of the game and offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne coaching, for lack of a better way to describe it, timid. That won’t cut it against programs even running behind where they sometimes are, like Michigan State is this year.
Luckily, Indiana’s defense isn’t as good as it was when Tom Allen was their coordinator, and both Richard Lagow and Simmie Cobbs (my favorite receiver in the conference not named DeSean Hamilton last year) are gone. The Hoosiers are always dangerous with a chip on their shoulder, but even though this one is in Bloomington, the Lions should be able to win comfortably. Should.
PLAYER(S) ON THE SPOT: Trace McSorley. If that feels weird to read, it felt even weirder to type; the redshirt senior had arguably the worst game of his Penn State career last week, and inarguably his worst home-field performance. His locker room speech after the Ohio State game was legendary, but it was followed up by a lackluster performance by everyone not on the offensive line or Miles Sanders. That needs to change if the Lions want to finish the season ranked, and McSorley needs to start that now.
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF … The closest equivalent to this game is the Friday night game against Illinois, which saw the Illini take their only lead to start out the third quarter before the Lions’ offense pulled away. If Rahne coaches the way we saw him do the first five weeks of the season, that shouldn’t be a problem.
THE PICK: I’ve only been to one game in Bloomington before – and that was in 2013. Derp. Regardless, the Lions need a bounce back win, and they’ll get it, with their defense stepping up and their offense doing what they need to survive and advance.
Penn State 28, Indiana 17
I’m still having a hard time making sense of Penn State following the absolutely befuddling performance against Michigan State. They were playing a very banged up Spartans squad, following a bye week, following their best week of practice in years, and just went out and laid an egg. Perhaps we need to accept the fact that this may be an unpredictable team, that can go out and play lights out and win by 40, or could lose to the same team in the closing moments.
What bothers me about this game is the match-up of Indiana’s offense against Penn State’s defense. The Nittany Lions have shown great strides on defense in the last two weeks, but with an accurate quarterback who can move the ball with his legs I could see Indiana pulling together a few drives by dinking-and-dunking its way down the field. If they do so, it will be up to the offense to prove that last week’s dreadful performance was just a fluke, and they can put the mistakes aside and find consistent production out of its playmakers.
I think they do just enough to come away with a victory, and Nittany Lions fans are able to breath the slightest sigh of relief before preparing to play three ranked teams in a row- a stretch that will really show what this team is made of.
McSorley gets back on track by tossing for 290 yards and two touchdowns, with 75 more yard on the ground and another score. Miles Sanders continues to be his impressive self, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown. KJ Hamler does what KJ Hamler does, catching his sixth touchdown pass in his first even games.
On defense, Shane Simmons makes the most of his gradual return with a strip sack and two TFLs, while Shareef Miller contributes two sacks of his own. Amani Oruwariye bounces back with a key interception in the second half.
Penn State 31, Indiana 24