Staff Predictions: Penn State Football’s 2023 Record
Penn State football is back in just three days.
The Nittany Lions will attempt to surpass their 10-2 regular-season record from 2022 with a crew of veterans and fresh, young talent carrying the weight of lofty expectations.
Although James Franklin has yet to name significant starters just days away from kickoff, the No. 7-ranked blue-and-white squad has the confidence of nearly all of our staffers to outpace last year’s campaign.
Mikey DeAngelis: 11-1
I know many people are high on Penn State this year, but I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. I genuinely think this is one of the most talented rosters James Franklin has ever coached at Penn State on paper.
If Drew Allar lives up to the potential that he has, this Nittany Lion team will make it through the regular season nearly undefeated, with one loss to Ohio State or Michigan, but not both.
Joe Lister: 11-1
Penn State will go 11-1 in the regular season. The Nittany Lions look promising this year and will likely split a win/loss against Michigan and Ohio State, though which team gets which result remains to be seen.
Penn State could win or lose both, but splitting the difference seems fair. A tiebreaker for the Big Ten Championship is coming soon to a team near you.
Charlie Pegler: 12-0
Yup. This is the year Penn State goes undefeated and makes its first trip to the College Football Playoff.
Significant pressure is going to be on sophomore quarterback Drew Allar, but I’m not worried. Allar has the benefit of having arguably the best running back duo in college football in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. Oh, and also one of the best defenses led by second-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. If this seems biased, it’s because it is. I don’t care. We Are.
Brendan Wagner: 11-1
Penn State football’s potentially All-American-level defense will wreak havoc on opponents all year, giving up little on the ground and virtually nothing in the air due to a lights-out secondary.
However, the Nittany Lions will again fall short to Michigan as running back Blake Corum will show the world why he should be a Heisman candidate.
CJ Gill: 11-1
The hype is real. I truly believe this is James Franklin’s most talented and deepest roster he has ever had during his tenure in Happy Valley.
A strong running game wins in the Big Ten, especially as the season goes on. Penn State’s run game is one of its biggest strengths heading into 2023 as it contains arguably the top running back tandem in the country.
The Nittany Lions will have to win one of two games against Ohio State and Michigan, and I think they will do so in November when the Wolverines visit Beaver Stadium. An 11-1 record puts Penn State in a fighting position to win the Big Ten and make a College Football Playoff appearance.
CJ Doebler: 10-2
I’ve been hurt by Penn State before, so I’m tempering my expectations this year.
As much as I’d like to predict that Drew Allar will burst onto the scene, throw for a billion yards, and lead Penn State to an undefeated regular season, I can’t bring myself to do it. This year’s team looks stacked, but there is some uncertainty on the offensive side of the ball. The Nittany Lions will fall to Ohio State on the road, a tough game even with a first-year starting quarterback.
Later on in the season at home, Michigan may be too much for this young Penn State team. A 12-0 record and a playoff berth is an attainable goal for this year’s group, but a 10-2 campaign and a New Year’s Six bowl is also a successful beginning to the post-Clifford era.
Brady Miller: 11-1
Maybe I’m a little biased because it’s my last year, but I fully believe this team is special. There is NFL talent all over the field on both sides of the ball with guys capable of beating the big dogs.
Ohio State and Michigan are still better than this Penn State squad, though. I’m predicting an upset over one of these teams, but not both. Outside of these Big Ten powerhouses, the Nittany Lions should have no problems at all.
Penn State will travel to Columbus and upset the Buckeyes come October, but ultimately fall to the Wolverines at home in its third-to-last game of the regular season.
This team just has too much promise to finish another season with an almost expected record of 10-2. It’s time Penn State finally beats one of them.
Nolan Wick: 11-1
Penn State came close to finishing 11-1 last season, and I believe this is the year it’ll finally happen with James Franklin coaching his best-ever team on paper.
The Nittany Lions won’t beat both Ohio State and Michigan, but they’ll beat one. I think they have a better shot of taking down the Buckeyes in Columbus than the Wolverines in Happy Valley.
Penn State has plenty of depth, a promising young quarterback paired with a dangerous backfield, and one of the best defenses in America. This team should go at least 11-1.
A 10-2 record or a 12-0 outing are both realistic scenarios, but 11-1 is the most likely possibility. Expect Penn State to be in an exciting, down-to-the-wire race for a trip to the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff. If you’re not as excited for the season as me, what are you doing?
Connor Krause: 12-0
If nine years under James Franklin-led Penn State squads has taught me anything, I’ve learned that one loss often spirals into two.
Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, Ohio State is set to bring back only 67% of its total production from last year, leaving noticeably glaring holes along its offensive line and quarterback room.
I predict Penn State to waltz into Columbus and knock off the Buckeyes for arguably its largest win since beating Jim Tressel’s squad in 2005 to emerge into the national championship conversation.
Now, hear me out — if a 9-0, top-ranked Penn State squad squares off against Michigan on November 11, it will be the most raucous atmosphere in Beaver Stadium’s 64-year existence. There is NO shot the home team lays an egg with that much juice in the air.
Book your flights to Pasadena today, folks. You’re guaranteed to reap a return on investment benefits before the holidays.
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About the Author
Ryan Field was a sea of white in the Nittany Lions’ week five return to Illinois on Saturday.
Despite struggles with bye weeks in recent years, the Nittany Lions feel the time off this year can be beneficial.
Our writers and photographers drove out to Evanston, Illinois, to capture the sights and sounds of Penn State’s fifth win of the season.