To say nothing has gone Penn State’s way this season would be an understatement. Everything currently seems stacked against them and the Journey Brown news is an even more disheartening development. The first year numbers of Kirk Ciarrocca’s offense at every stop are already weak and when you lose spring practices and tune up games to install it, that’s a recipe for a disaster. We’ll see if a loss to Maryland and the worse news about Journey can rally everyone for a better result on the field this week.
Penn State 28, Nebraska 27
[sets up folding table]
[puts out sign in front of folding table reading PENN STATE HAS QUIT ON THEIR SEASON AND WILL GO WINLESS IN 2020. CHANGE MY MIND.]
[sits back in chair behind folding table and sips coffee]
Nebraska 20, Penn State 14
Unless Franklin and Co. are willing to either a) make some personnel changes, or b) make some overall philosophy changes, I’m not sure how confident I can be picking the Lions to win ANY game this year. Given that the coaches have shown that they are doggedly steadfast in whoever they named as starter, and that they probably aren’t going to change up coaches in the middle of a pandemic, I’m not feeling all that great.
The Nebraska offense was supposed to be good, but hasn’t quite materialized yet. Good thing the PSU defense likes to spot teams sizable leads! Nebraska, as every opponent has done so far this year, gets up to a double digit lead before the defense settles in, but the herky jerky, inconsistent, incoherent mess that is the Penn State offense just can’t string together enough good plays to catch up.
Nebraska 35, Penn State 24
I need this.
Penn State 112, Nebraska 0
I wish I was as optimistic as Pat, and of course I hope I’m wrong.
Penn State keeps it close, but Nebraska hits a game-winning field goal to win it.
Nebraska 31, Penn State 28
Penn State’s top two running backs are out, their offensive line can’t run block, their quarterback is one of the worst in the conference, special teams have struggled, the secondary is allowing big plays at a concerning clip, and the linebackers look LOST without Micah Parsons. Jesse Luketa and Brandon Smith are also playing out of position as Brent Pry tries to hammer a round peg into a square hole, but that’s a discussion for another day. Any who... outside of these issues Penn State has looked pretty good this season! Unfortunately, when you’re struggling at 6 of the 9 positions on the field you lose a lot.
Nebraska 24, Penn State 14
(originally appearing in the Big Ten preview)
Two of the three most outspoken coaches advocating for the return to football meet in a game where both are looking for their first win of the season. Yes, this was definitely all worth it.
Penn State 56, Nebraska 17
There’s no good way of putting it - Penn State is simply stuck in a tailspin after three games. Unlike similar stretches in the past, there aren’t one or two issues to be pointed at that can be fixed for the team to return to its winning ways. There are major issues on both sides of the ball that are well beyond some minor tweaks before the Nittany Lions can expect to come out victorious against just about every Big Ten opponent not named Ohio State.
Unfortunately, an 11 a.m. local kickoff time on the road is not the time and place to pull yourself out of a tailspin.
Nebraska has its fair share of issues, and it’s reasonable to believe that Penn State could earn its first victory of the season on Saturday. But this team has shown little reason to believe they will be up for the task after the most demoralizing loss of the James Franklin era this past Saturday.
Jahan Dotson keeps his hot streak going for two reasons - he has developed into an absolutely fantastic, gamebreaking receiver as a junior, but also, the offense doesn’t have too much else going for it. It will be another big game for Dotson with 10 catches for 150 yards and two scores. Parker Washington will continue his rapid development, with a career high 90 receiving yards.
The defense puts in a strong effort, but are stymied by a couple late Nebraska drives after spending too much time on the field in the second half. Tariq Castro-Fields leads the way with seven tackles and an interception, while Shaka Toney adds another sack and two TFLs.
Nebraska 27, Penn State 21