I 100% expect this to be a letdown game, and I particularly think the OL comes out a bit listless. A few drives to fully wake up, and by mid-second quarter the Lions build a two-score lead. Allar takes over late third quarter, with Veillieux finishing the job late in the fourth.
Penn State 42, Central Michigan 17
My only concern going into this game is whether PSU is a little hung over from celebrating the glorious beat down at Auburn and starts slowly enough that the starters don’t end up sitting until around the end of the 3rd quarter. That being said, this seems like a hungry team ready to prove the doubters wrong week in and week out and has bought into the whole “1-0 this week” mentality. Look for Nick Singleton to pop off a few more big runs for TD’s or to set up TD’s (with Kaytron Allen chiming in, too) and for Cliff to drop a dime or two to his receivers. The defense may not look as stout as last week due to Manny Diaz liberally rotating guys to build some depth for the October gauntlet, so just a heads-up to our resident doomers in the comments section.
Penn State 49, Central Michigan 20
It’s a noon home game following an impressive win - we are all used to slow starts by Penn State in such situations. Meanwhile, Central Michigan has gotten off to horrid starts in all three of its games this year, including a scoreless first quarter in last week’s 41-0 victory against Bucknell. So, what will give there? Ultimately, I think Penn State wins comfortably, but they’ll be some hiccups along the way - likely in the form of a turnover or two. Much like the Ohio game, I think a lot of people play and play early, especially on defense. I think this version of Penn State is much better than than September version of 2021 Penn State. But, still getting Villanova vibes here - though I think they’ll run the ball a lot better on Saturday. 1-0 mentality and let’s move into the heart of Big Ten play.
Penn State 41, Central Michigan 16
I’m expecting a slow start, but not an overall letdown in this one. Drew Allar plays most of the second half, and Nicholas Singleton goes over 100 yards for the third straight game.
Penn State 42, Central Michigan 14
Don’t be surprised to see a slow start from the Nittany Lions. A sleepy noon kick against a MAC opponent the week after a huge road win and the week before Big Ten play hits full swing.
While I wouldn’t be stunned to see the score be something like 10-7 18-20 minutes into the game, the Nittany Lions will eventually pull away and roll to victory. Hopefully we see the offensive line continue to take steps forward while we get to see the young guys (Allar, Carter, Singleton, Dennis-Sutton, etc.) continue to get plenty of playing time and make big plays.
Penn State 45, Central Michigan 13
If Drew Allar doesn’t have at least two touchdowns on Saturday, I am going to throw a temper tantrum.
Penn State 49, Central Michigan 17
(Originally appearing in the Game Preview)
You can find quality talent throughout the Central Michigan roster, as the team should compete for another MAC title after winning nine games a year ago. However, the defense has been porous, and the offense just won’t have the horsepower to hang with Penn State for long.
Penn State will likely continue to emphasize its running game, as we’ve seen it come alive with the improvement of the offensive line and additions of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen in the backfield.
Clifford finds Brenton Strange and Parker Washington in the end zone, while Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton each contribute touchdowns as well. On defense, P.J. Mustipher leads the team with 3.5 TFLs, while Joey Porter Jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown each get an interception.
Hopefully, we witness the best-case scenario - Penn State jumps to an early lead, clears the benches in the second half, and leaves the game with everyone in full health as the first month of the season comes to a close.
Penn State 49, Central Michigan 13
(Originally appearing in the B1G Preview and Degenerate Challenge)
The trendy word after the Auburn game has been “letdown.” Penn State will be riding high off that win, and they’ll come out sluggish against a Central Michigan team that can score if given the chance (or if it’s the fourth quarter and Oklahoma State is playing the team managers).
I myself am curious to see who comes out for Penn State. Many years before we’ve seen the Lions be unable to shake off a loss, or come out, uh, disinterested after a big win, so this is a perfect opportunity to prove this year is different.
Penn State 56, Central Michigan 17