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Staff Predictions: No. 4 Penn State vs. Indiana

Penn State football (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) will take on Indiana (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions rolled past Villanova last week with a 38-17 victory and climbed up to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 Poll. The Hoosiers, on the other hand, narrowly defeated Western Kentucky with a 33-31 win.

Our staff expects Penn State to take care of business against Indiana and roll into Iowa City next week with a 5-0 record.

Samuel Brungo (4-0): Penn State 45, Indiana 23

Indiana is not a bad team. It has two losses on the season, both to top-10 teams. I don’t think this will be a cakewalk, but Penn State will definitely look strong here, shutting down the passing game and limiting Penix Jr. on his feet outside the pocket.

Penn State moves to 5-0 and carries the heat to Iowa City. Have fun and be safe. State by 22.

Mara McKeon (1-0): Penn State 35, Indiana 20

Even though there is talk of this being another trap game in anticipation of playing Iowa next week, Penn State should be able to take care of business. This is the first Big Ten game back at Beaver Stadium with fans, and it’s the Stripe Out, so I am expecting the energy to be electric on Saturday.

Penn State should also come out with a vengeance after the extremely controversial touchdown last year, which should fuel its attitude for the game. All of this together should carry the Nittany Lions to 5-0.

Frankie Marzano (4-0): Penn State 45, Indiana 17

I don’t like this whole “revenge game” thing that has been brewing around this game. It was a tough loss on a tough call, and this isn’t the 2020 Penn State football team looking for revenge against the 2020 Indiana football team. This is a brand new team that simply wants to go 1-0 this week.

I think the run game will improve with better practice and preparation from this past week, and I think that Sean Clifford will display his confidence yet again, while Penn State’s defense speaks for itself. Penn State will roll into Kinnick next weekend with a win.

Adam Babetski (3-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 20

I choose to approach last year’s game as if it didn’t happen. Since no one was there to see it, it was probably a figment of our collective imaginations. This year’s Penn State team has proven that it is a completely different animal from last year. The Hoosiers have as well, albeit in a bad way, as they’ve stumbled to a 2-2 start after high expectations to start the season. 

Several factors are at play here — Penn State is at home, it’s at night, and the fans are in the building. Indiana might need something more than leaf blowers in its practices to replicate the noise.

Charles Reinert (4-0): Penn State 35, Indiana 17

Penn State is a hungry team, and the team has already proven it knows what it takes to take its opponents down at home under the lights. While personally I’m not really looking at this as a “revenge game”, Indiana has shown some signs of struggle this season. It’ll feel really good to take down a Big Ten opponent during a night game. If Sean Clifford, Jesse Luketa, and other stars go out there and do their assignments, I see no reason for the Nittany Lions not to get the win.

Mikey DeAngelis (3-0): Penn State 24, Indiana 23

I’m not going to lie, this Indiana team worries me a little bit for Penn State. I expect the Nittany Lions to get caught a little bit off guard at first but ultimately pull through with a win. For Penn State to come out on top, though, the crowd needs to make a difference and be energetic in a night-game environment.

Nolan Wick (3-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 14

The Indiana Hoosiers have not been anything scary this season so far. The Hoosiers are 2-2 coming into this matchup, which includes getting blown out by Iowa in week one. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has not played that well, and nobody else on Indiana’s roster poses any threats. Last year was a fluke season for Indiana, meaning last year’s win against Penn State was a fluke, too. The No. 4 Nittany Lions are better in every way, so this game should not be much of a challenge.

Ethan Bell (2-0): Penn State 34, Indiana 17

Indiana is definitely a better test for the Nittany Lions after defeating Villanova last week.  However, I think that Penn State will end up winning and controlling the game from start to finish. Sean Clifford has looked better than Michael Penix Jr., which is surprising because I thought that Penix would win Big Ten Player of the Year. 

Penn State’s defense will hold Indiana under 20 points, and the offense will score over 30 for the second week in a row. Penn State remains undefeated heading into Iowa week.

Charlie Pegler (1-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 3

I know that the motto of this week for Coach Franklin is that this won’t be a revenge game. But there is no way Penn State won’t play with a chip on its shoulder following last year’s controversial “loss” to Indiana. The defense will be dominant, as it has been all year, and Sean Clifford will do his thing, hopefully getting the running backs more involved this week. Expect another outstanding game from Jahan Dotson, and I wouldn’t even be surprised if we see Ta’Quan Roberson on the field by the end of this dominant win in a Stripe Out-filled Beaver Stadium.

Zach Donaldson (4-0): Penn State 42, Indiana 14

Penn State’s offense has struggled on the ground this season, yet Sean Clifford and company have been able to get things done through the air. Indiana? Well, the Hoosiers have been struggling altogether.

Penn State’s defense is tied for No. 12 in all of college football with a turnover margin of +5, and that number could be a lot higher if not for multiple turnovers being called back for numerous reasons. If the Nittany Lions can put pressure on Michael Penix Jr. and get him rattled, he and the Hoosiers could be in for a long game.

Penn State is ranked No. 4 in the nation, 4-0, and sticking with the lucky number four, the Nittany Lions win by four touchdowns.

Connor Krause (4-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 13

Although the Nittany Lions’ players and staff have repeatedly said that Saturday isn’t a “revenge game”, the team will certainly be fueled by last year’s final call that derailed the previous season from the start.

Sean Clifford will avenge his two-interception performance from a year ago and play an efficient, mistake-free game, just as he has for the most part of his senior campaign.

Opposing quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will struggle against Penn State’s much-improved secondary that currently leads the Big Ten in takeaways. Despite having a solid receiving core on the outside, the Hoosiers will have a tough time putting up points in front of a sold-out Beaver Stadium crowd.

Gabe Angieri (3-1): Penn State 40, Indiana 17

Revenge game this, revenge game that. Enough already, folks.

Yes, we know Michael Penix Jr. was absolutely down short of the goal line on his game-winning two-point conversion attempt in last season’s opener. However, it doesn’t matter anymore. Penn State is going to dominate the Hoosiers this Saturday.

Sean Clifford will toss four touchdowns, three of which will go to Jahan Dotson. Dotson will actually eclipse 200 receiving yards and terrorize Indiana’s defense. Penn State’s rushing attack will improve to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Brent Pry’s defense will continue its elite play with another excellent outing, giving up only three points through the first three quarters before giving up two garbage-time touchdowns late in the game. Get ready for a battle of the mammoths when undefeated Penn State rolls into Iowa City next week to take on undefeated Iowa.

Will Pegler (4-0): Penn State 41, Indiana 14

Excuse my French mom and dad, but the Nittany Lions are going to come out with a fire under their ass on Saturday. James Franklin was clearly pissed off about how his offense and reserve defenders didn’t play “up to the standard” against a weak Villanova team Saturday afternoon, so expect Penn State to come out firing in front of a Stripe Out Crowd.

As for the defense, the first-team unit has done its job literally all season. I see Michael Penix Jr. and Indiana’s offense struggling to get much going all night against Brent Pry’s defense, while Sean Clifford will dice up a middling Hoosier pass defense. Throw in a garbage-time score for Tom Allen’s squad, but Penn State covers the spread and reminds everyone why it climbed to No. 4 this week.

Ryan Parsons (4-0): Penn State 28, Indiana 10

I don’t think Indiana is a very good football team, but Michael Penix Jr. has been playing better lately. He’ll need to out-dual Sean Clifford to win this once, which I don’t think he will. I expect Penn State’s run game to finally get things going and Jahan Dotson to finally take the top off a defense.

I don’t see the Hoosiers really making much of a mark on the Nittany Lions’ defense, which has been incredible all season. With the Stripe Out atmosphere and blood in the water from last year, I don’t think this one will be close.

Matt DiSanto (3-1): Penn State 34, Indiana 20

Revenge games are really, really stupid. Still, Penn State will look strong this weekend and win because it’s the better team.

A night-game Stripe Out has me salivating. Our Michael Tauriello says it’s better than the White Out, and I’m starting to believe him. Don’t screw it up by wearing the wrong color.

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