Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Indiana
Before Thanksgiving break really gets underway, there is a football game to play at Beaver Stadium tomorrow as the Penn State Nittany Lions (6-4, 4-2) host the Indiana Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) in a noon kickoff. Check out what our writers are thinking about the Big Ten Leaders Division contest.
Penn State 37 Indiana 16
Penn State is itching to get back on the gridiron after a controversial and frustrating loss in Lincoln last Saturday to Nebraska. Indiana might be the perfect opponent to help the Nittany Lions get back on track. Last season’s game came down to a Hail Mary pass, but the Hoosiers have still never defeated the Blue and White. The streak will continue tomorrow, and the margin of victory should be much larger than last September.
The beginning of this game will go one of two ways. Bill O’Brien’s squad will either come out firing on all cylinders against an overmatched opponent or appear a bit rusty, still reeling from the fourth quarter against the Cornhuskers. Either way, it will not matter a few quarters later. The Hoosiers offense will register some big plays through the air against a depleted Nittany Lions secondary that could be missing Malcolm Willis, but it will not be enough. The away team is surrendering 37.8 points per game in conference play and gave up 62 at home against Wisconsin last week. The Nittany Lions will not score quite as much, but it will be a big day for the offense as Matt McGloin and Zack Zwinak fill the stat sheet. Allen Robinson will break the Penn State single-season reception record in the first quarter although several students will not be around to witness it.
Penn State 45 Indiana 17
Penn State comes out pissed off from last week and just runs over the Hoosiers. Zack Zwinak has a monster game, the offense moves the ball consistently, and the game is over by halftime in front of a half-filled student section. Matt McGloin also has a monster day, leading the Penn State offense to 500+ yards.
Penn State 38 Indiana 20
Matt McGloin gets back on track for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns thanks to a big day from Brandon Moseby-Felder. Allen Robinson also hauls in eight balls to break the single season reception record. In the second half, Zach Zwinak wears down the Indiana defense and cracks 100 yards once again. This game will not be a game after the first quarter.
Penn State 38 Indiana 17
Indiana can move the ball as well as anyone in the Big Ten. For as well as they move the ball, conversely, they cannot stop opposing offenses whatsoever. Wisconsin racked up over 500 yards on the ground as they destroyed the Hoosiers last weekend, and I see no reason that the Nittany Lions should not have similar success. Zach Zwinak and the offensive line will have a field day, and the Penn State defense will force a few key turnovers, leading to a relatively easy victory.
Penn State 41 Indiana 14
Zack Zwinak runs wild racking up his fifth hundred yard rushing game of the season. Matt McGloin tosses two touchdown passes, one to Allen Robinson and another to Matt Lehman, to tie Daryll Clark’s Penn State record for career touchdown passes. The Penn State defense completely shuts down the Hoosiers offense and delivers a win for Onward State’s fourth birthday!
Penn State 33 Indiana 20
I truly do not have much of a feel for this game. This year has shown some flaws but also the potential for growth and momentum in the final two games. I hope the Nittany Lions can build upon the tough lessons they have learned, and I hope Bill O’Brien’s play-calling will be improved this week and not resemble stuff from the old regime. Hopefully Matt McGloin will continue to play well and does not let a tough loss impact him negatively like it often did in the past.
For most seniors without an NFL future, this is the second to last game they will ever play in. Winning secures an above .500 season and proves many critics wrong. If they take the Hoosiers seriously and avoid playing down to competition, this will be a nice bounce back win that sets a good tone going forward.