This is a game with implications, a win likely seals a New Year’s Six bowl berth. Rutgers is busy doing the unexpected, actively trying to destroy their own program from the top down. That being said, everyone on the Nittany Lion roster with eligibility will likely see the field this week, as a result do not expect a shut out. Penn State should win comfortably and then we’ll all wait to hear their bowl destination.
Penn State 52, Rutgers 14
I view this game as essentially a postseason scrimmage. While the eventual bowl game will of course carry more meaning than this game, the postseason is meant more to be for fun than for “all the marbles,” as they say (note: no one says this). So if, after losing to OSU, the Lions are officially into postseason practice/scrimmage mode, then I see no reason not to get as many players on the field as possible.
Freshmen that can afford to play and not burn a redshirt? Get ‘em out there! Seniors buried on the depth chart? Get ‘em out there!
It legitimately won’t matter who is out there for any given play for Penn State, as Rutgers is just so completely inept it’s not even funny anymore. Clifford sits, Levis starts the first half, then Schuster starts the second half, and Roberson and Johnson Jr. each split the fourth quarter.
Penn State 42, Rutgers 0
This is the worst Rutgers team I can ever recall, and that’s saying something, since I am old enough to remember the pre/early-Schiano Rutgers era when the program was also hot garbage. Hopefully, Clifford sits to heal up for the bowl game and Will Levis gets to enjoy his first career start going full Connecticut Tebow on Rutgers’ defense, with a heavy heaping of Journey Brown, Noah Cain, and Devyn Ford. Will can also toss a few balls in KJ/Pat/Jahan’s direction from time-to-time as well, and likely see great things happen. For all the issues the PSU secondary has had, Rutgers QB Johnny Langan is a lousy thrower who is barely completing 50 percent of his throws and has a 4-to-9 TD to INT ratio (Buzz! Your girlfriend!) Isaiah Pacheco is a decent tailback, but PSU’s run defense has remained stout all season long, and while Bo Melton can make a few plays in the receiving game, it’s hard to see him doing much when his QB sucks so bad. It will be a mild disappointment if the defense doesn’t pitch a shutout, but there is a very good chance by the late 3rd/early 4th quarter that the walk-ons and towel boys will be on the field for PSU.
Oh, and I haven’t gotten to the part yet where I mentioned just how checked-out everyone in the Rutgers program appears to be now that Greg Schiano isn’t coming to Piscataway and there’s a mass exodus via the transfer portal. For them, this Saturday could be the slowest three hours and change they might possibly experience.
Penn State 49, Rutgers 0
Will Levis plays the first half, and Ta’Quan Roberson finishes out the game, while Journey Brown, Noah Cain, and Devyn Ford go wild on the Rutgers defense. For Penn State defensively, the secondary finally gets their critics momentarily off their back by forcing two turnovers.
Rutgers is really bad, but I’m not quite confident enough to pick a shutout.
Penn State 45, Rutgers 3
There are dumpster fires...and then there’s Rutgers Football. The Scarlet Knights had very little talent when the season began, and that was before seemingly half of the roster decided to alert what’s left of the coaching staff that they would be redshirting this season or entered the transfer portal. The Scarlet Knights are undoubtedly the worst Power 5 team, and are among the worst in the FBS. To be honest, I am not sure there is a single conference in college football in which Rutgers would post a winning record.
Healthy or not there is zero reason to play Sean Clifford on Saturday. Let Will Levis start and get valuable game reps while Clifford rests for the bowl game. It would also be cool to see freshmen quarterbacks Taquan Roberson and Michael Johnson Jr. each get a series or two in the 4th quarter. It would also be beneficial to get young players such as Brandon Smith, Daniel George, Devyn Ford, Joey Porter Jr., Lance Dixon, John Dunmore, TJ Jones, and Zack Kuntz as many reps as possible on Saturday.
If Penn State really wanted to they may be able to score 100 points on Saturday, but James Franklin has a soul so they’ll settle for half of that in a shutout as they cap off their third 10 win regular season in the last four seasons.
Penn State 50, Rutgers 0
Rutgers is just in a bad place right now, and whoever is hired as the new football coach will have a massive rebuilding project on his hands. It’s not only that Rutgers can’t beat anyone in the Big Ten, they can’t even make a competitive game against anyone in the conference.
Penn State reaches the end zone on its first two possessions and doesn’t look back. The running game carries the load on a snowy afternoon, with Journey Brown as the headliner with 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Will Levis adds one with his legs and another with his arm, connecting with Nick Bowers in his final game in Beaver Stadium. Nick Eury closes out the scoring by carrying several Rutgers defenders into the end zone with him, bookending his season with touchdown runs.
Cam Brown joins the Senior Day fun with a strip-sack and 10 tackles, and Micah Parsons continues his red-hot run with 13 tackles and 4 TFLs.
The good guys roll as they send off the seniors with a win, and then play the waiting game to find out where they will be heading next.
On a personal note, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy all the food and football, and most importantly, time with loved ones. I’m incredibly thankful to be part of such an amazing community of fellow Penn State faithful.
Penn State 42, Rutgers 7