Penn State heads into its first Peach bowl with a little bit of history on the line: If they win, they become the first team in the country to have won every New Year’s Six bowl game. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty neat. Let’s get to the predictions!
I’m going to base my prediction solely on Penn State, having little-to-no information on Ole Miss, other than they had a good season, but like Penn State, suffered some losses in big games.
Like many bowl games lately, this is likely going to be more of a preview for next season than a true reflection of this one. Yes, next year’s offensive and defensive schemes will be different, but the personnel should largely be the same. I expect we’ll see some of the guys bound for the NFL draft play for a bit before taking a bow, and then next year’s players will close things out.
With that all in mind, I do think the Lions are going to be a good team in 2024, and will once again rely on defense first, with a hopefully improved offense. I’m going to say the Lions stymie the Rebels’ offense, and the PSU offense continues to improve. A heavy dose of Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton sets the tone, and Drew Allar has one of his better passing games as there continues to be more separation from the Mike Yurcich offense.
Penn State 27, Ole Miss 17
As has been typical for Penn State bowl games, I expect this one to be close (I know last year was a 14-point win). Containing Jaxson Dart will go a long way toward victory in this one, and if the Nittany Lions can move the ball downfield, it’s lights out. Don’t expect too much from Penn State until the second half, when (hopefully) Allen and Singleton wear down the defense, setting up Drew Allar to take some deep shots.
Penn State 31, Ole Miss 24
Bowl games are harder to predict with opt outs, but this should be a really fun game. The battle between the Ole Miss offense and Penn State defense will determine this one, and I’ll gladly take our defense. The Nittany Lions should also have the edge on both lines. I see this one going similar to the Rose Bowl last year, with PSU pulling away in the second half.
Penn State 31, Ole Miss 20
Sorry, James Franklin. You’re going to play an SEC team and you’re going to LIKE IT! I just love these Big Ten - SEC matchups. In the last three years, we’ve been lucky enough to get Auburn twice, Arkansas, and now Ole Miss. This is going to be a fun one. Games that feature opt-outs, weird schemes, and interim coaches usually come down to whoever has the more talented roster. On paper, that’s Penn State. How about we #LetDrewCook and spring into 2024 with some positive vibes?
Penn State 27, Ole Miss 20
These are two pretty solid, talented teams facing each other in what should be an entertaining bowl game. Ole Miss’ Jaxson Dart at QB along with a bevy of receivers who have caught for 700-plus yards should give this secondary one of its biggest challenges of the season. You also have to think Lane Kiffin will have a few tricks up his sleeve that he won’t hesitate to use. That being said, I like PSU in the trenches (even sans Chop on the D-line), the defense to cause enough problems, the combo of Allen/Singleton toting the rock, plus Allar making some timely throws to ultimately wear down the Rebels in the second half and get the dub. Let’s get some positive vibes going into 2024!
Penn State 31, Ole Miss 21
Penn State is 21-0 against teams not named Ohio State or Michigan in the past two seasons. Let’s make it 22-0
Penn State 56, Ole Miss 17
(First appearing in the Game Preview)
Penn State’s offense will be able to do enough with a steady dose of Singleton and Allen on the ground, and relying on the tight ends to move the ball. In an absolute best-case scenario, we’ll also see a more comfortable Allar using more of the field and connecting with the wide receivers like Omari Evans, Kaden Saunders and others who are likely to be back in the fall.
The Nittany Lions pull out another win in a big-time bowl game, as we look forward to 2024 maybe, possibly being the season where the team breaks through to become a true national title contender.
Penn State 30, Ole Miss 24