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Staff Predictions: No. 6 Penn State vs. Villanova

No. 6 Penn State football (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) is set to host Villanova (3-0) at noon on Saturday, September 25, at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions are fresh off a 28-20 White Out win over Auburn. The Wildcats, likewise, won their third straight game to open the season last week with a 34-27 victory over Richmond.

As Penn State’s momentum seemingly soars, our staff expects Penn State to beat Villanova by a wide margin and improve to 4-0.

Samuel Brungo (3-0): Penn State 72, Villanova 3

Villanova has a football team? And it’s playing Penn State? At Beaver Stadium? The week after a White Out victory over a ranked opponent? Smells like a blowout to me.

The Nittany Lions couldn’t overlook Ball State. In this game, they probably can. Penn State may start a little slow, but it’ll pick it up and won’t stop. Get the postgame beers flowing. Be safe and have fun. State by 69.

Charles Reinert (3-0): Penn State 60, Villanova 7

This is the first game of the season that I’m not sweating at all. Sure, Villanova has a lot of experienced players. Sure, the Wildcats have some good defensive players. But this isn’t basketball. I 100% expect the Nittany Lions to take care of business handily and send Nova back to Delco with its tail between its legs.

Mara McKeon (0-0): Penn State 42, Villanova 10

While Villanova may be seen as a potential threat to some, I believe that the momentum from the huge White Out win will carry the Nittany Lions to another victory. The vibe throughout the campus, especially on gameday, should fuel the energy needed to take care of business against the Wildcats, even with the noon start time. As long as the team does not let up, I fully expect the team to head into next week’s Big Ten matchup undefeated.

Adam Babetski (2-0): Penn State 52, Villanova 3

Let’s be honest: This game shouldn’t be close. Villanova is 3-0 and ranked No. 11 in the FCS, but there’s a reason the Wildcats aren’t playing against Power Five competition. Penn State earned its biggest win of the season last week and might suffer from a White Out hangover early on in this game, but once the team gets going, Villanova won’t be able to stop James Franklin’s squad. The Nittany Lions will roll against their first true cupcake of the season to remain undefeated.

Nolan Wick (2-0): Penn State 50, Villanova 3

Football is probably the last thing I think of when Villanova comes to mind. It’s not like Philadelphia has any good football teams, anyway. No. 6 Penn State should easily win this game against a weak opponent, with many backups getting reps.

Mikey DeAngelis (2-0): Penn State 58, Villanova 9

Look, no disrespect to Villanova, but I expect this to be an easy victory for Penn State. It’s sports, so theoretically anything could happen. But I think most people, including Villanova fans themselves, expect the No. 6 Nittany Lions to run away with this one.

It should be a good opportunity to rest some key defensive players, assuming Penn State builds a significant lead early, and potentially see some time from backups like quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson, which would let Franklin do some experimentation with his play calling.

Devon Craley (2-0): Penn State 45, Villanova 6

Coming off of an emotional and electric win over Auburn a week ago, it’s understandable to believe that Penn State could fall into a trap-game scenario against Villanova on Saturday. However, I don’t see that happening.

Penn State’s defense is the best it’s looked in years, and this offense has very quietly gotten into a groove, led by elite-level play from quarterback Sean Clifford. I know that Villanova is 3-0, but this isn’t the CAA, this is the Big Ten, and the Nittany Lions are gonna blow the Wildcats out from start to finish.

David Beck (0-0): Penn State 48, Villanova 10

Villanova has been playing very well so far this year, with a couple of very lopsided wins against Lehigh and Bucknell. However, without a shadow of a doubt, the Nittany Lions are going to show some impressive in-state dominance this Saturday. Penn State’s defense has yet to allow a passing touchdown so far this season, and if programs like Wisconsin and Auburn can’t get their passing game going, I find it hard to believe that the Wildcats will find much success at all on offense.

I predict Villanova to score 10, but I would not be surprised in the slightest if even that was a struggle for it. The Sean Clifford and Jahan Dotson duo will continue to dominate, and I expect an outstanding stat line from the both of them.

Frankie Marzano (3-0): Penn State 95, Villanova 7

That’s right, I said it. The only thing I ask is that we get to see a carry by Tank Smith in this game. I don’t like to look past these types of games because anything could happen, but why not? Penn State against the spread.

Zach Donaldson (3-0): Penn State 45, Villanova 7

Villanova is a very respectable in-state opponent, so Penn State can’t get caught looking ahead to Indiana against a tough Wildcats squad. But this year’s squad seems locked in, especially with such a scorching hot start to the season with wins against Wisconsin and Auburn, both ranked opponents on Penn State’s resume, already.

Simply put, this game won’t be close. The talent gap between these two schools will just be too much for the Wildcats to have to overcome.

Not to mention, James Franklin and Mike Yurcich’s offense really started clicking last week, and Sean Clifford had arguably his best game in a Nittany Lion’s uniform. Combine that with Brent Pry’s defense playing lock down on the other end, I think that’s a sign of great things to come.

Ethan Bell (1-0): Penn State 52, Villanova 10

Villanova is a very solid FCS team and is coming into Happy Valley with a 3-0 record, just like the Nittany Lions.  That being said, the No. 6 Nittany Lions will be ready and won’t be on upset alert. 

Penn State’s electric offense and top-tier defense will be too much for the Wildcats to stop. We will be able to see a lot of future Penn State stars get reps early in this game, as it will be a blowout from beginning to end.

Michael Tauriello (0-0): Penn State 64, Villanova 0

My parents are making the trip to watch this game, and it’s also their 32nd wedding anniversary next week. That’s 64 years between the two of them, and it sure seems like the Nittany Lions would be able to push past the 60-point mark against an FCS team. I’m feeling lucky — I think Penn State will score nine touchdowns and go for two once, just to try it out!

Connor Krause (3-0): Penn State 49, Villanova 10

Saturday marks the first time the Nittany Lions will face off against an FCS squad since the Big Ten lifted its restriction on playing Division I-AA teams in 2017.

This week, a vastly outmatched Villanova team will quickly learn why Penn State is the No. 6 team in the country.

Expect Sean Clifford to pick up right where he left off from his career-defining display against Auburn in the early going. After establishing an immediate lead, Clifford should be relieved right around halftime by Ta’Quan Roberson in what should be a stress-free day for the Nittany Lion faithful.

Gabe Angieri (2-1): Penn State 69, Villanova 0

I expect Penn State to win by a nice margin Saturday.

Ryan Parsons (3-0): Penn State 42, Villanova 14


I grew up a Villanova fan, but I never knew they had a football team. Penn State’s gonna get a big lead early, and then Ta’Quan Roberson and Co. will come in to finish things off. The Wildcats will get some points late in garbage time and that will be that.

Will Pegler (3-0): Penn State 100, Villanova 0

Good teams win, great teams cover. Let’s get weird.

Matt DiSanto (2-1): Penn State 42, Villanova 10

Penn State is not losing to a fake Philly school. As one of the nation’s top FCS teams, Villanova isn’t a pushover. Still, these No. 6 Nittany Lions are searching for their first true beatdown of the season, and the Wildcats might unwillingly fit the bill.

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