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Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Rutgers

Penn State football (1-5) will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey this weekend to take on Rutgers (2-4) at noon Saturday.

The Nittany Lions finally picked up their first win of the season in a 27-17 victory over Michigan last week. The Scarlet Knights also won Saturday, beating Purdue 37-30.

Despite the Nittany Lions’ rocky start to the season, our staff believes Penn State will win its second consecutive game Saturday afternoon.

Samuel Brungo (2-4): Penn State 38, Rutgers 26

Rutgers hasn’t had a terrible season compared to what its expectations were and what it’s accustomed to. Penn State’s season has been the exact opposite. With that, I think the Nittany Lions’ first five games were a fluke and that they’re back to a somewhat-competitive shell of what they were. Penn State wins this game — not easily, but without much reason to worry. State by 12.

Matt Rudisill (2-4): Penn State 34, Rutgers 27

After its first win of the season, Penn State has momentum. With a resurgent Sean Clifford and a dominant Keyvone Lee, the Nittany Lions’ offense is poised to help the squad finally string together some wins.

Yes, Rutgers has more wins than Penn State this season. However, I believe James Franklin’s team has enough fuel to get it done against the perennial Big Ten bottom feeder.

Connor Donohue (2-4): Penn State 31, Rutgers 21

As a proud New Jersey native, this game has always carried significance to me. I do have family and friends from back home that make the mistake of calling Piscataway/New Brunswick home for four years of their lives. This game is usually a cakewalk, but this year won’t be slaughter like usual.

Ever since Greg Schiano was hired to coach the Scarlet Knights in the offseason, the program and fanbase have found new energy not seen since the mid-2000s. The Scarlet Knights, despite having a 2-4 record, are a fun team to watch. Players like Noah Vedral, Isaih Pacheco, and Aron Cruickshank have made Rutgers competitive for the first time since they’ve joined the Big Ten.

With all that said, the Scarlet Knights still have a lot of work to do, especially defensively. They have the worst scoring defense in the conference, allowing 35.7 points per game to the opposition. Following a strong game from Keyvone Lee last weekend and a bounce-back performance from Sean Clifford, I think Penn State gets enough points on the board to get the win.

Frankie Marzano (2-4): Penn State 27, Rutgers 20

Even if the Nittany Lions put up another performance like last week, Rutgers will give them trouble. The Scarlet Knights almost beat Michigan and conquered Michigan State. This isn’t like previous years.

But at the end of the day, it’s just Rutgers.

Connor Krause (0-6): Penn State 28, Rutgers 13

After snagging a much-needed win in Ann Arbor a week ago, Penn State will begin a winning streak against Rutgers Saturday afternoon by playing complementary football.

The Nittany Lion offensive line should be able to win the battle in the trenches, opening up lanes for Keyvone Lee and Devyn Ford to run wild against the Scarlet Knights. If Sean Clifford can remain turnover-free for the second consecutive week, Penn State should be able to control the clock and keep its inconsistent defense off the field, resulting in a stress-free fourth quarter.

Gabe Angieri (2-4): Penn State 34, Rutgers 30

Two in a row? Yes, two wins in a row, folks. I think the Nittany Lions win a close one in Piscataway Saturday afternoon.

The offensive game plan should be simple: Feed Keyvone Lee. The true freshman rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown last week, and he should absolutely be a major part of the offense once again. All Sean Clifford has to do is manage the game and avoid the mistakes in order for the Nittany Lions to come out on top, and I think he’ll do a solid job of that.

I still have concerns about Penn State’s defense, but I think Brent Pry’s group will stop Rutgers on the final drive to give Penn State its second straight win.

Ryan Parsons (1-5): Penn State 31, Rutgers 17

I guess I got my swagger back!

Penn State is going to go into Piscataway and show everyone that it means business now. Sure, the season is already “lost,” but beating up on a Rutgers team that the Nittany Lions should beat up on would be a big confidence booster for the future. Things started to finally click against Michigan, and I predict that will continue to happen moving forward. This is probably the best version of Rutgers Penn State has seen in a long time, so it will likely be closer than in recent years.

Will Pegler (2-4): Penn State 28, Rutgers 27

This is going be a weird day in Piscataway, folks.

I expect Sean Clifford to stay productive behind center, while Keyvone Lee will be a strong complement to the offense once again. However, Rutgers is going to hang around.

The Scarlet Knights aren’t good, but, in case you forgot, Penn State isn’t great, either. While I do think the Nittany Lions showed promising signs of improvement against Michigan, there’s still plenty of issues on this team. Brent Pry’s defense won’t have the same dominating performance that they did in the Big House, and this gritty battle will come down to the wire.

Jordan Stout will bounce back and nail a game-winner from deep in the final seconds. The Nittany Lions will leave the lovely state of New Jersey with a 2-5 record and a “hot streak.”

Matt DiSanto (3-3): Penn State 31, Rutgers 27

Penn State is still bad, but not bad enough to lose to Rutgers.

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