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2023 Penn State Football Over/Unders

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Maryland at Penn State Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re just over a week away from the season being upon us, which means it’s time to do our annual over/under predictions for the season. We got seven offensive and defensive over/under predictions so let’s get to it.

Drew Allar: Over/Under 30 Passing TDs

Chris Lucia: Ok, hear me out on this — I believe Drew Allar is a better quarterback than Sean Clifford. Sean, if you’re reading this, know that I love you and am super appreciative of everything you did at Penn State. But I think Drew is simply in the next tier of QB. In 2022, Clifford threw for 24 TDs. I think Drew can get to 30. The biggest reason he may not is because I think Penn State will be a run-first team in 2023, especially through the first month of the season. But even still, my general thought is Allar is going to have a minimum of 2 TDs per game, and may sprinkle in the occasional 3-4 TD game against some of the lesser competition. If he just averages 2 TD per game, that’s 26 TDs on the season. I’ll go with the over.

Patrick Koerbler: This is a tough one because we know Penn State’s offense will be a bit more run heavy, especially in the red zone. That includes Allar, who I think is going to be utilized as a rusher (at least from 10 yards in) more than most people expect. But still, I’m going over. I think early in the seasons against the likes of West Virginia, Delaware, UMass, etc., Mike Yurcich is going to make a concerted effort to get Drew going. Yes, you don’t want him throwing 45+ times a game, but I think the offense will be more opened up than usual in September, where I can see Allar stacking a couple 3-or-4 touchdown days.

Brian Bennett: Under. Ever see Varsity Blues? Drew’s arm creates big plays to get Penn State in the red zone. But, once there, go the safe route and feed Allen, Singleton, and maybe even Trey Potts to get touchdowns.

Eli Moreta-Feliz: Under. Had you said total touchdowns I’d be right with you, as he’ll probably walk a few in himself. I just don’t see the offense passing enough to warrant 30+ touchdowns just yet. Franklin likes explosive plays, but what he likes more is running the ball. It’s his guilty pleasure. And, while he won’t suddenly turn Penn State in to a Big Ten West team, he’s going to run the ball when he can. In fact, I reckon the majority of Allar’s 29 passing touchdowns are going to come in the second part of the season.

Kaytron Allen: Over/Under 1,000 yards

Chris: Under. I know, I know. I 100% expect Kaytron to be even better in 2023, but here’s the thing. In 2022, he actually got more carries than Nicholas Singleton (167 to Singleton’s 156). Yet Singleton was the 1,000-yard rusher, while Kaytron came in at 867. Could he break 1,000 yards? I certainly think it’s possible. But in asking me to put fake money on it? No, my guess is we’ll see a similar level of production. I’ll happily be wrong on this when Allen, Singleton, and Allar win a three-way tie for the Heisman.

Patrick: I have a Kaytron Allen prediction in my Five Things I Know I Know column coming out next week, so I’ll keep this short and just say over.

Bennett: Over. He averaged 5.2. yards per carry last year on 167 carries. I think he gets more in 2023 with it really being a two-man show from the start. Just a sneaky gut feeling that as explosive as Nicholas Singleton is, Allen’s steady nature puts him on the field for more snaps this season and he gets over that mark.

Eli: He nearly did it last season and he’s only going to be better, along with a better offensive line. I’m going over.

KeAndre Lambert-Smith: Over/Under 55 receptions

Chris: Under. For the first time, KeAndre is THE guy at wide receiver. The most experience, the most stats, the most comfort in the system. Yet in 2022 he hauled in just 24 receptions. More than doubling his catches, in an offense that (I figure) is run-first? I don’t think so, especially with Theo Johnson and Tyler Warren out there at TE.

Patrick: I’ve gone back and forth on this one. On one hand, Lambert-Smith is going to play a ton so that alone will put him in contention. But there’s a part of me that is still in “Doubting Thomas” mode where I want to see it before I believe. I’ll go slightly pessimistic here and ride the under.

Bennett: Under. That number means about five catches per game, a mark that even after Parker Washington went down with injury that KLS only had once (exactly five against MSU). I think he will lead Penn State in receiving yards and be an explosive player - just like in the Rose Bowl. But, a reliance on the running game, a plethora of tight ends, and the emergence of Dante Cephas as the year progresses means that KLS doesn’t get Dotson/Hamler like targets.

Eli: Over. All indications from camp is Lambert-Smith is WR1 at this point, so I can see 56 receptions happening.

Theo Johnson: Over/Under 40 receptions

Chris: Over. Johnson logged 20 catches in 2022 as the clear #2 TE behind Brenton Strange. He’s now TE #1, and potentially pass-catcher #1. Mike Yurcich finally sorted out how to use the TEs in the passing game, and I expect that Theo will get the Lion’s share of the targets for that position in 2023. Add in that the WR room in general is very unproven, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson is the #1 targeted player on the offense.

Patrick: Like Kaytron, I’ll save my Theo Johnson thoughts for next week’s column. Over.

Bennett: Over. Fully healthy and titled a captain, I think that Theo Johnson is poised for a huge year. There are only so many receptions to go around with a number of other potential pass catchers along with me saying Allen/Singleton both crack 1,000 yards. But I think Johnson leads Penn State in receptions with something in the mid to upper-40’s.

Eli: Under. I think Tyler Warren is going to get a lot more usage than we expect, which will cut into Theo’s touches.

Chop Robinson: Over/Under 9.5 sacks

Chris: Under. I think the Penn State defensive line, particularly the ends, will be very, very good in 2023. The combination of Robinson-Adisa Isaac-Dani Dennis-Sutton is scary, and could be the best trio of DEs the Lions have had. But in 2022, with a green DDS, and what could be better help from the DTs, Chop garnered 5.5 sacks. He’d need to nearly double that to get to 10 sacks, and while I think he’ll flirt with that number, I think others on defense will keep him from getting there.

Patrick: Pretty good chance Penn State is going 5 deep at defensive end in a real way so I’m under the impression the Nittany Lions will have a whole host of guys between 4-7 sacks, but no one with Aaron Maybin-esque numbers. Under.

Bennett: Under. Too much rotation and depth at defensive end. I think Robinson will have a huge year and will shoot up draft boards. But, I think something in the 7-8 range is more likely in terms of sack number.

Eli: Over. I can see five more sacks this season in a more full-time role.

Abdul Carter: Over/Under 14.5 TFLs

Chris: Over. In 2022, as a true freshman, who split time on the field with Curtis Jacobs, and was generally new to college, Carter logged 10.5 TFLs. Now as a full-time starter, used to not just college but Manny Diaz’s defense? Yeah, Abdul gon’ eat.

Patrick: I actually kind of liked that it seems Carter has had a quieter camp. I like it better than people don’t fully realize this dude is already a top 5 linebacker in the country. Over.

Bennett: Over. All-American. Period.

Eli: Over. Like Chop above, Abdul starting the whole season makes this number a lot more realistic.

Kalen King: Over/Under 3.5 interceptions

Chris: Over. I thought about the under on this one, because I really do think teams just aren’t going to throw his way very often. But King has proven himself to be a ball hawk when passes DO come his way, notching 3 INTs and 18 passes defended in 2022. Periodically, teams are going to throw to his side of the field just to see if he’s still paying attention. When they do, Kalen will make them pay.

Patrick: Since Alan Zemaitis had 6 interceptions in 2005, only one other Penn State cornerback (Amani Oruwariye) has had more than 3 in a season. It’s really hard to do, so despite the fact I think the world of King as a football player, I am going just under at 3.

Bennett: Under. Johnny Dixon and Keaton Ellis though...

Eli: Over. Didn’t he have 3 interceptions last season? Asking for a fourth doesn’t seem like much. I guess if you count that he’s a household name now and people won’t want to throw to him, this might make sense. But what are people going to do, give all their INTs to Johnny Dixon instead?

Check out odds for week 0.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.