Staff Predictions: No. 14 Penn State vs. Rutgers
No. 14 Penn State returns home, and fans couldn’t be happier. Along with the team, every single member of our staff who put in a prediction took a giant “L” after the Nittany Lions were stunned on the road.
It’s Rutgers week, which thankfully, our sports staff believes means a return to winning ways for James Franklin’s squad.
David Abruzzese (7-2) Penn State 35, Rutgers 17
Ok, I predicted a similar score last week, and I ate my words. I would say I’m confident the same won’t happen — and trust me, there’s no way the Nittany Lions lose at home — but one can never be too certain after Penn State’s flaws have been put on display for a national audience to watch in consecutive weeks. But, again, Penn State is undefeated at home this season, and something tells me Saquon Barkley is going to get hot against the team he once committed to.
Mikey Mandarino (7-2) Penn State 69, Rutgers 0
Penn State football is certainly Mad Offline after its last two games against Ohio State and Michigan State, so there’s no better time for the Big Ten’s whipping boy to come to Beaver Stadium and get smoked. Rutgers football may have actually scored points against Michigan this year and they have won a few conference games this year, but they are still objectively awful at football.
Saquon Barkley will get back to his usual Heisman-caliber self with a dominant performance and Trace McSorley will bounce back in a huge way. Their performances, combined with Rutgers’ “offense” trying to get past Marcus Allen and co. will lead to Penn State scoring the nicest amount of points possible.
Ethan Kasales (7-2) Penn State 41, Rutgers 17
The Nittany Lions should get their running game back on track against the Big Ten’s second-worst rush defense, which is giving up an average of 179.6 yards per game. Expect Saquon Barkley to finish off his third career 1,000-yard rushing season against the Scarlet Knights. He needs 136 more yards on the ground to accomplish the feat in just 10 games.
Nathaniel Pinskey (5-2) Penn State 56, Rutgers 0
Penn State has zero chance of the playoffs, and are close to missing a New Year’s Six berth. If Penn State is going to make its way back into the top-12, they need to blow out Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland. The Nittany Lions finished their tough stretch against Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan with a record of 1-2, but only lost those two games by a total of four points. This team is still one of the top teams in the nation, and will only continue to get better. Look for Coach Franklin to start getting playing time for key players next season, and more touches for Miles Sanders
Gabi Stevenson (0-0): Penn State 40, Rutgers 9
Forget the past two weeks and let’s just get back to enjoying Penn State football. For as frigid and awful as the weather might be, it’s Homecoming, our boys are back in town, and we’re still in striking distance for a New Year’s Six bowl. Also, it’s never a bad week to absolutely crush Rutgers. Thanks, Joe.
Anthony Colucci (7-2): Rutgers 19, Penn State 5
If I’ve learned anything during the last two weeks, it’s that there is no place for logic or sympathy in college football. Only misery.