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Staff Predictions: No. 22 Penn State vs. Auburn

Last week, Penn State (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten) dismantled Ohio 46-10 in its home opener. With the offense clicking on all cylinders, most starters had fully departed the game by quarter three.

The Nittany Lions’ performance lifted them into the AP’s most recent poll, and that momentum will be crucial in the team’s upcoming SEC battle with Auburn. Saturday marks the first time a Big Ten program has ever played in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Penn State will face a dreaded “Orange Out.” (Original)

Some believe it will be closer than others, but all our staffers believe Penn State will end the night victorious.

Adam Babetski (1-1): Penn State 20, Auburn 13

Penn State looked good last week in what was really a tune-up for this game. Auburn, meanwhile, struggled in what should have been a low-intensity game against San Jose State. Tigers running back Tank Bigsby gave Penn State fits last year, but the Nittany Lions should be able to shut down the rest of Auburn’s offense. That said, Jordan-Hare Stadium is as tough an environment to play in as any, and Auburn fans are passionate about their team even in what looks to be a down year. Penn State will hold on late to complete a home-and-home sweep of an SEC blue blood.

Joe Lister (2-0): Penn State 31, Auburn 24

I won’t guarantee a win here for Penn State, but I like its odds. Against Purdue, the team showed it can win a tough game. Against Ohio, the Nittany Lions displayed what they looked like when playing a clean game. In both games, Sean Clifford and Nick Singleton showed they can produce on offense. Against Purdue, the defense was strong enough to hold a result.

Playing in a strong SEC atmosphere will be tough for Penn State, but the team isn’t inexperienced in these types of games. Packed stadiums are when you look to Clifford’s many years of experience to lead the offense, and I think he can do it. The Nittany Lions will stay undefeated through three weeks.

Mikey DeAngelis (2-0): Penn State 27, Auburn 24

I have a feeling this is gonna be a nail-biter. Sure, Penn State’s a ranked team this week, but there’s something to be said for the hostility of playing in a packed SEC stadium. It’s gonna be loud, it’s gonna be energetic, and I think Auburn has a hefty home-field advantage, just like Penn State had last year for the White Out. It could go either way, but I have faith in the Nittany Lions.

Nolan Wick (2-0): Penn State 20, Auburn 17

Although Penn State is better on paper, this is going to be a challenging matchup. First, it’s worth noting that Auburn has only lost seven times at home since 2018, which is enough to raise an eyebrow. Auburn running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter collectively rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s showdown, and it will likely be just as challenging for Penn State to contain them this time.

However, Penn State is talented enough to walk away with the victory deep in SEC territory. In order to do so, the Nittany Lions need to take advantage of TJ Finley when he passes. Finley has thrown three interceptions and just one touchdown this season, so Manny Diaz’s secondary will have several chances to wreak havoc. Solid defense is the key to winning on Saturday, and that’s exactly how the Nittany Lions will prevail. Expect a big game from Nick Singleton, too. Queue up “Dixieland Delight.”

Matt Brown (2-0) Penn State 34, Auburn 28

After improving to 2-0 in a dominant 46-10 win over Ohio last Saturday, the Nittany Lions will face their toughest opponent so far this season in the Auburn Tigers. Playing at Jordan-Hare during an “Orange Out” is not going to be easy, even though Penn State is the better team.

Being able to stop Tank Bigsby will be the key to a win this weekend, as last year he ran for over 100 yards against Penn State. Also, I hope to see the running game going early with Nick Singleton as the lead back. Overall, it will be a hard-fought game for four quarters, but Penn State should come out victorious.

Frankie Marzano (2-0): Penn State 31, Auburn 20

I’m not convinced that Auburn is good at football.

Tigers signal caller TJ Finley completed 13-of-20 passes for 167 yards and a pick at home against San Jose State last weekend. Yes, Tank Bigsby is a huge threat, but that’s all Auburn’s offense has. Does that live up to the expectations of the big and mighty SEC? I don’t think so. If Penn State’s front seven holds up against Bigsby, Sean Clifford and Co. will march on down to Alabama and silence the “S E C! S E C!” chants in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Sam Fremin (2-0): Penn State 34, Auburn 33

When I saw everyone predicted a Penn State win, it made me want to swap and play the other side, but I just don’t see it happening. Although Auburn struggled with San Jose State, I don’t think the Tigers match up well with the Nittany Lions. Pound for pound, Penn State has the better offense — both efficiency-wise and in explosive potential. But, Auburn is going to run the ball early and often, so Penn State’s inexperienced linebacker core is going to be the team’s key to success. Ultimately, I think Penn State gets the job done, but I’m going to say this one is closer than it really should be.

Ryan Parsons (2-0): Penn State 31, Auburn 21

Penn State won’t find success until Drew Allar starts.
Sean Clifford will never recover from the pick-six.
Ohio is a trap game.
Penn State still won’t have a 100-yard rusher this year.
Penn State can’t beat Auburn twice in a row, especially on the road. <– You are here
Northwestern is a trap game.
It’s impossible to win the Big House.

Gabe Angieri (2-0): Penn State 24, Auburn 17

SEC this, SEC that — it doesn’t matter. Penn State is the better football team. If this game was played at Beaver Stadium, it wouldn’t even be close.

I expect the Nittany Lions to play a fairly clean offensive game that features a lot of Nick Singleton in the ground game. The true freshman will score two touchdowns, while Sean Clifford and KeAndre Lambert-Smith will connect for a score, too.

Manny Diaz’s defense will struggle at times to contain Tank Bigsby, but it’ll limit the damage just enough. The Nittany Lions will win the turnover battle by forcing two TJ Finley interceptions.

Penn State will come back to Happy Valley 3-0, folks.

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Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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