Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Purdue
Our sports staff is confident in James Franklin’s ability to get his Nittany Lions ready for a road trip to West Lafayette following their program-defining win over the Buckeyes. Newly-ranked No. 24 Penn State will take on interim head coach Gerad Parker and the Boilermakers this Saturday at noon on ABC in Ross-Ade Stadium.
Ethan Kasales: Penn State 45, Purdue 17 (season record 5-2)
James Franklin mentioned during his Wednesday practice presser that the Nittany Lions were going with no music this week to simulate the atmosphere at Ross-Ade Stadium. All jokes aside, there’s a very real possibility for a team to come out flat after such a huge win. But don’t expect No. 24 Penn State to falter in West Lafayette. Hopefully the blue and white can get Saquon Barkley’s backups — Andre Robinson, Mark Allen, and Miles Sanders — some valuable reps against the Boilermakers in a blowout showing on ABC.
Mitch Stewart: Penn State 37, Purdue 14 (season record 0-1)
Coming off of what is easily the biggest victory in at least a decade for Penn State, the Nittany Lions could potentially not show up for this matchup with a team that has already fired their head coach at the halfway point in the season. For that reason, I think the boys in blue and white will struggle in the first half, and may go into the locker rooms tied or barely ahead.
However, I still think Penn State has far greater talent, far more momentum and confidence, and let’s just face it–the Boilermakers have essentially heard a non-stop loop of our fight song during the last seven games between the two schools, seeing as Purdue hasn’t notched a win in this series since 2004. Expect an average day from Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley, some younger players getting important playing time, and continued improvement from the rejuvenated, healthier defense.
Chris Weigl: Penn State 34, Purdue 17 (season record 3-0)
Penn State’s offense will get going again versus a Purdue defense that allows 200-plus yards a game on the ground. This should open up the passing game downfield for Chris Godwin and Mike Gesicki, both of whom will show out this Saturday. The Boilermakers like to throw the ball a lot, but after showing up big last weekend against Ohio State, the Penn State secondary is more than up to the task. Though they might get hit with a few deep balls, expect the Nittany Lions to win handily.
Joe Pickard: Penn State 31, Purdue 13 (season record 4-1)
No. 24 Penn State (Man, I have always wanted to write that) needs to be able to move on and focus on Purdue so it doesn’t fall into a trap game. Yea, Purdue isn’t good, but at least it has a new life behind Gerad Parker, as the Boilermakers kept it close with Nebraska last week. Looking at the matchup, expect a good game out of Saquon Barkley as Purdue has let up an average of 249 rushing yards a game. I believe in Franklin to rally the troops and get a big win (Penn State’s first on the road this season) and cover the now -14 point spread. I fully expect the Nittany Lions will leave West Lafayette 6-2 punching their ticket to a bowl game.
Anthony Colucci: Penn State 34, Purdue 10 (season record 2-3)
The Ohio State win put Penn State back on the map, but Saturday’s game against Purdue in West Lafayette is where the program has to turn the corner, against a bad team and coming off of such of an emotional upset. With the defense revamped and the offense fresh off three strong showings, the Nittany Lions should avoid a post-upset hangover and prove to be much more than a one-game wonder. They should win this one pretty easily and continue their ascent in the rankings and quest for a meaningful bowl game.
Robbie Rockwell: Penn State 38, Purdue 13 (season record 4-1)
This may be a trap game for Penn State, but I’m pretty confident the Nittany Lions won’t be caught off-guard and should win handily. The defense is sure to build off last week’s stellar performance, and I’m sure that Brandon Bell and Jason Cabinda will have a lot to do with that. The offensive line put together a phenomenal showing against Ohio State, surrendering only one sack to the Buckeyes.
The front five should continue their success opening holes for Saquon, allowing him to run for over 150 yards. They will also give McSorley ample time to find a good target, connecting with his favorite receiver Chris Godwin for at least one score. Hopefully the special teams has another strong outing with no problems and they cap off an all-around great road win.