There’s no way to polish the turd that the offense has turned into. I’m also hesitant to run Trace McSorley back out there immediately after the debacle last week until he’s truly healthy, the revolving door routine the coaches pulled between him and Tommy Stevens was atrocious. The defense has been hung out the dry by the offense every game since the bye, playing approximately a thousand snaps every game (may need to check my notes on this one). They’ve been solid, save for issues getting off the field on third down and occasional blundered plays. All that being said, Wisconsin is dinged up and this game is in Happy Valley, the offense reportedly has met and we may see more emphasis on Miles Sanders, a reappearance of Ricky Slade, more Jahan Dotson and perhaps Justin Shorter, so...
Penn State 34, Wisconsin 24
This one should be ugly. Penn State’s offense looks like a mess and Wisconsin’s quarterback situation is cloudy. I have the Nittany Lions winning because the defense has quietly been solid lately and I think it will stop Jonathan Taylor and put the Badgers in tough third-and-long situations. Penn State probably won’t be able to run the ball either, but if there’s a little Trace McSorley magic left, he’ll make enough plays to put the Lions over the top.
Penn State 22, Wisconsin 15
Penn State’s offense is lost right now. Wisconsin’s defense enters this game banged up, but it may not matter. If Trace McSorley is injured, for both the team and Trace, we need to see Tommy Stevens in this one.
The Badger may be without quarterback Alex Hornibrook, and even if he does play the passing game is not a threat. It’s all about slowing down Jonathan Taylor and the rushing attack. The Nittany Lion defense has come a long way, but I fear the sputtering offense will once again cause the defense to have to play too much leading to them getting burnt out. I also do not trust the coaching staff to make the correct personnel decisions, especially at LB and QB if Trace is still banged up.
Wisconsin 24, Penn State 17
I literally have no idea anymore. The offense, once the shining jewel of the Big Ten, can’t complete a pass or rush for a first down. The defense has come a long way since the early part of the season, but if the offense is completely inept, I don’t trust the defense to win the game.
Penn State ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Wisconsin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ± ¯\_(ツ
I guess I have hope with Wisconsin’s QB banged up and with this being a home game. But not much.
Penn State 20, Wisconsin 17
Penn State goes into this Saturday’s matchup a nine-point favorite over Wisconsin. This is a good thing because over James Franklin’s tenure, Penn State has lost just twice when favored by a touchdown or more at Beaver Stadium -- those two occasions being Northwestern 2014 and Michigan State earlier this year.
The chances that happens twice in the same season, when it only happened once during the fun 2014 and 2015 seasons, doesn’t seem likely to me. So Penn State will win because Penn State is the better team. It won’t be easy though because things can never be easy.
Penn State 31, Wisconsin 27
I will be in the midst of flying to Vegas while this game is happening and will remain blissfully ignorant of the inevitable suck-fest that will ensue between two teams who looked promising earlier in the year.
Or, in the more likely scenario: I will be a huge dumbass and order overpriced in-flight Wi-Fi so I can follow along via ESPN Gametracker while simultaneously dropping F-bombs in the BSD slack channel.
Either way, this game ain’t gonna be pretty with a banged-up PSU squad taking on a perhaps even more banged-up Wisconsin squad. I guess I have to give the edge to PSU given that it’s at home and Wisconsin is rather one-dimensional on offense. Plus, I get the feeling James Franklin is going to let the young receivers loose and will be quicker to pull Trace for Tommy if Trace is still clearly affected by his injuries.
Penn State 23, Wisconsin 20
This should be an entertaining game between two similarly injured, similarly humbled, similarly desperate, similarly experienced yet fatally flawed teams. I like PSU’s offense to complete a few passes to itself this week.
The parallels between these two teams is unmistakable. Both teams find themselves at 6-3 after once appearing in the top 10 with expectations of a potential Big Ten Championship and playoff run. Both teams have struggled to find an identity- while Penn State’s high-flying offense has come down to earth, Wisconsin’s typically stout defense has become leaky. Now both look to finish strong despite injury issues for their experienced quarterbacks.
All of this makes this matchup hard to predict, as it seems any outcome is plausible. This could just come down to which team comes out the most motivated. With a win, either team is in good standing to finish at 9-3 and go to a quality bowl- but is that enough considering the heights these teams have reached in recent years?
This seems destined to be a low-scoring affair, so the smart thing would be to pick Wisconsin due to its strong run game giving it more consistent offense. However, something tells me the Nittany Lions do just enough to pull this one out at home.
Amani Oruwariye comes through with a game-sealing interception, while Micah Parsons has his best game yet with 11 tackles and a sack. Miles Sanders helps the cause with 90 yards rushing and a score, while Jahan Dotson leads the way with six catches and his first touchdown.
Penn State 24, Wisconsin 20