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Staff Predictions: No. 15 Penn State vs. Indiana

Despite ultimately losing to Ohio State 44-31, Penn State played well for the majority of last week’s contest. The College Football Playoff committee clearly agreed, ranking the two-loss Nittany Lions in the top 15.

While the Nittany Lions prepare for a road matchup against Indiana, questions encircle the team. After a performance boosted by 371 passing yards but cut down by four turnovers, Sean Clifford’s status as starting quarterback is potentially at risk. As his staff balances securing the team’s first 10-win season since 2019 and developing newcomers for possible playoff campaigns in the future, head coach James Franklin’s decision Saturday may have lasting effects within the program.

Still, all of our staffers believe Penn State will avenge its controversial 2020 loss in its return to Bloomington.

Rico Gore (2-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 3

Indiana is trash. Yes, Penn State suffered a rough one in 2020, but Indiana is still trash. As long as Penn State doesn’t play down to the competition, then it’s are about to whoop up. Its a 10-win season from here on out, just watch.

Matt Brown (7-1): Penn State 40, Indiana 14

Now that Penn State has lost both games to Ohio State and Michigan, its goals of a Big Ten championship and a national championship bid are over. However, sitting at 6-2 with four winnable games left on the season, a 10-2 season and a New Year’s Six game isn’t out of the question.

But first things first, you have to go on the road and beat Indiana. It doesn’t matter what their record is. The Nittany Lions have to take care of business and blow this team out. Frustrations need to be taken out after last week’s loss, and they should not take their foot off the gas. Winning by anything less than three touchdowns will not be a good look for the Nittany Lions.

Nolan Wick (7-1): Penn State 28, Indiana 17

This is a much more important game than people think. If Penn State wins, we’ll know this is a resilient and well-coached team that should easily win out. If Penn State loses, we’ll know mistakes weren’t learned from, the team can’t bounce back after a tough loss, and the season could completely unravel. So, we’ll know what this team is truly made of after this week.

With everything being said, I do think James Franklin and his players will beat Indiana, although it’ll definitely be closer than expected. Penn State is too good and has been through too much in the last two seasons to lose this game.

Brendan Wagner (1-0): Penn State 28, Indiana 14

Penn State is trying to bounce back and save its season here, as a possible New Year’s Six bowl is still up for grabs. Expect some turnovers that’ll lead to Indiana points. However, the Nittany Lions will cruise to a comfortable win in the second half.

Adam Babetski (6-2): Penn State 38, Indiana 21

Penn State will break its habit of losing an easy game after a tough loss. Indiana has lost five in a row, but it always seems to play well against the Nittany Lions — especially in Bloomington. While the Hoosiers will keep it from being a blowout, don’t expect Penn State to be in any real danger. It’s the perfect game for Drew Allar to get his first start, which he totally should.

Mikey DeAngelis (6-2): Penn State 30, Indiana 17

Penn State is notorious for going on losing streaks. But the team was able to beat Minnesota coming off its first loss of the season, so I have faith that the Nittany Lions can pull it off again in a game they should win. Personally, I’m just curious to see who starts at quarterback.

Joe Lister (8-0): Penn State 31, Indiana 14

Nothing much to this one. Whoever starts at quarterback will be fine. As disappointing as the Ohio State loss was, Indiana is a good team to rebound against. The Nittany Lions just need to go 1-0 this week (ugh) and finish out the season strong.

Luke Brown (3-1): Penn State 30, Indiana 20

This week, there has been more talk about which quarterback will be under center than the actual game itself. Will the 18-year-old, five-star quarterback get his first career start? It remains to be seen.

Regardless, all Penn State fans should know that wins against Big Ten competition never come easy. Its consistent running attack should be enough to hold off a struggling Indiana team, though.

Devon Craley (5-0): Penn State 45, Indiana 13

I know Penn State has a track record of bad losses following a loss, and I know that Penn State lost its last game in Bloomington. But, Indiana is a horrible football team, and regardless of who starts at quarterback, the Nittany Lions should roll over the Hoosiers.

Drew Allar might not be ready enough to compete in a big game, but thankfully for both him and Penn State, Indiana has just one conference win this season and is on a five-game losing streak. Penn State might not be a great team, but Indiana is definitely a bad one. Nick Singleton will rush for two touchdowns and have at least two runs of 40 or more yards.

Brady Miller (4-1): Penn State 24, Indiana 10

I don’t want to talk about last week. With that being said, I think the Nittany Lions do bounce back and get a win here. There’s a good possibility that Drew Allar will see a lot of playing time in this one, but I also expect a massive game on the ground from running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. I don’t see enough firepower with Indiana, which has now lost five straight games, especially with a season-ending injury to leading receiver Cam Camper.

Frankie Marzano (6-2): Penn State 38, Indiana 10

It is not time to cuncel da saeson just yet, folks.

Penn State showed it can bounce back from tough losses with its win over Minnesota a few weeks ago, and I still believe this team is too good to go down without a fight. I’d like to see Drew Allar in at quarterback to spice things up a bit. But regardless of who is under center for the Nittany Lions, I just don’t see Indiana being good enough to hang with James Franklin’s crew for a full 60 minutes. Maybe it will be close at halftime, but I’d expect Penn State to pull away with this one handily.

Sam Fremin (7-1): Penn State 30, Indiana 17

I have my concerns about Penn State being able to recover from a loss that seemed to shatter the team postgame. However, I think the real Penn State lies closer to the team that showed up for the first three quarters last week than the one that closed out the game.

Indiana has only scored touchdowns on 50% of red zone trips this season, while Penn State only allows them 40% of the time. The Nittany Lions may stumble, but it’s hard to trust the Hoosiers to put points on the board.

Ryan Parsons (5-3): Penn State 31, Indiana 13

Hopefully this is the only red team losing this weekend. Go Phils.

Gabe Angieri (8-0): Penn State 34, Indiana 17

This game shouldn’t be close, regardless of who starts at quarterback. I expect Sean Clifford to start but for Drew Allar to get his fair share of reps, too.

Penn State’s ground game will be the story of this one, folks. Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen will combine for 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns to earn co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. Whoever starts at quarterback will manage the game and only turn the ball over once while also tossing a touchdown.

Abdul Carter will force a fumble, and Ji’Ayir Brown will snag an interception in what will be a dominant defensive performance through three quarters. Indiana will score 10 points in garbage time to make the game look closer than it’ll actually be.

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Staff

Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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