Staff Predictions: No. 14 Penn State vs. Central Michigan

Last week, Penn State claimed a statement 41-12 victory against Auburn on the road. On the backs of Nick Singleton, Kaytron Allen, and an electric defense, the Nittany Lions looked as impressive as ever en route to earning the No. 14 spot in this week’s AP poll.

This week, the Nittany Lions return home to play unranked Central Michigan. The Chippewas are led by 2021’s leading rusher Lew Nichols III, marking the second-straight game Penn State will go up against a stout rushing offense.

Again, our staff is unanimously backing the Nittany Lions in what we expect to be a…not close game.

Nolan Wick (3-0): Penn State 53, Central Michigan 13

Penn State is significantly better on paper and is playing its best football in a while. Meanwhile, the Chippewas are 1-2. The Nittany Lions should easily take care of business, with most backups getting significant playing time in the second half. True freshman quarterback Beau Pribula will also make his Penn State debut late in the game.

Aidan Conrad (0-0): Penn State 52, Central Michigan 7

Nick Singleton will dominate again and will earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for the third straight week. Central Michigan just won’t be able to handle Penn State’s defense.

Joe Lister (3-0): Penn State 45, Central Michigan 13

It’s hard to justify a hot take for this matchup. Penn State football is rolling, and Central Michigan sure isn’t stopping it. If Penn State had a big matchup in two weeks, you could argue this is a trap game (cough cough Illinois 2021), but it isn’t.

Clifford’s going to throw two touchdowns and rush another one in. Allar will come in at the half and put up another touchdown or two as well. Singleton’s in the same boat. This week won’t be a worry for Penn State.

Adam Babetski (2-1): Penn State 45, Central Michigan 3

From my vantage point in the south end zone, the Nittany Lions may have looked even better last weekend than they did on television. Penn State had an answer for nearly every one of Auburn’s drives, piling up clutch interceptions and fumbles. Auburn’s much-hyped “Orange Out” deteriorated into a creamsicle as fans headed for the exits midway through the third quarter.

Although Sean Clifford took the biggest hit on the field, both of Auburn’s quarterbacks were running for their lives all afternoon. The final score was more reflective of Penn State’s dominance on both sides of the ball than Auburn’s ineptitude. The Lions are deserving of their No. 14 ranking in this week’s AP Poll, and even then may still be underrated. Expect Nick Singleton to bulldoze the Chippewas in a rout.

Devon Craley (3-0): Penn State 55, Central Michigan 14

Another week, another comfortable win for the Nittany Lions. Penn State will cruise to a blowout victory for the third straight week. Nick Singleton will stay hot and rush for at least 150 yards and three touchdowns. Sean Clifford and the offense will give Penn State a big lead before checking out and handing things over to Drew Allar in the second half. While Central Michigan’s offense is no slouch, averaging just over 36 points per game, Penn State’s defense presents the biggest challenge the Chippewas will see all year. The Nittany Lions win big to advance to 4-0 on the season.

Mikey DeAngelis (3-0): Penn State 44, Central Michigan 17

In sports, anything can happen. That being said, I think Penn State should easily win at home against Central Michigan this week. The Nittany Lions are hot coming off a win in Auburn, and I don’t think Central Michigan should pose much of a problem, considering that it is one of the worst teams this season in an already weak conference. Like the Ohio game, I think this will be a nice, fun watch for the fans at Beaver Stadium.

CJ Gill (0-0): Penn State 38, Central Michigan 6

Central Michigan is better than its 1-2 record suggests, and with the Nittany Lions coming off an emotional win against Auburn, I expect the offense to have a slow start. The blue and white will pull away in the second half, and you can expect a ton of reserves to play in the last non-conference matchup of the season.

Alex Petersen (0-0): Penn State 37, Central Michigan 17

Central Michigan is 1-2 on the year, averaging 36.3 points per game, which isn’t too bad. It will not be as easy of a game as Ohio was, but there shouldn’t be much competition here.

I think Nick Singleton will once again take advantage of a slow defense. Sean Clifford should be able to find the end zone through the air this week after having no passing touchdowns and a modest 178 yards last week. The spread is set around 28, but I think it’ll be a little closer. It’ll probably be around a 20-point game. Hopefully, the lead gets comfortable enough that Drew Allar gets some looks as well.

Matt Brown (3-0): Penn State 38, Central Michigan 17

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t expect Penn State to steamroll Auburn the way it did. I was expecting a close back-and-forth game where Penn State came out on top, but that was not the case. The near 30-point win helped Penn State move up to No. 14 in the AP Top 25 Poll.

This week, the Nittany Lions host the Central Michigan Chippewas in their last scheduled non-conference game. Penn State is by far the better team in this game and should easily take care of Central Michigan just like Ohio two weeks ago. My hope for this game would be for the defense to dominate in this game and prevent Central Michigan from scoring more than 20 points.

Brady Miller (0-0): Penn State 59, Central Michigan 13

The Nittany Lions will put on another clinic in front of their home crowd. I expect to see more Drew Allar touchdowns in this one. I’m feeling generous, so I’ll give Central Michigan a few garbage-time field goals against the third-string defense.

Matt Brophy (0-0): Penn State 62, Central Michigan 10

The offense is starting to pick up, and Nick Singleton has been uncontainable. The defense will pick apart the run game and force Central Michigan to throw, which will lead to a few picks. Sean Clifford will go 22-of-37 for 284 yds and four touchdowns, Singleton will go for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and Keyvone Lee will have a touchdown, too.

Sam Fremin (3-0): Penn State 41, Central Michigan 6

I’ve heard a lot about Central Michigan running back Lew Nichols. This is Penn State we’re talking about. Let’s not talk ourselves into something crazy. We’re going to see a lot of Penn State freshmen take the field again.

Frankie Marzano (3-0): Penn State 69, Central Michigan 0

I’ve seen enough to believe this Penn State team is good. We’re on to Northwestern. 

Ryan Parsons (3-0): Penn State 48, Central Michigan 13

Drew Allar should probably just start.

Gabe Angieri (3-0): Penn State 45, Central Michigan 10

This won’t be close.

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