The #4 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions return home after barely escaping Iowa. Will the Nittany Lions ride the emotional high or will they play down to their opponent’s level? The visiting Indiana Hoosiers are sure hoping for the latter. Kickoff inside Beaver Stadium is at 3:30 P.M. ET.
The Hoosiers (2-1) come into Happy Valley after defeating Georgia Southern last week 52-17. For Indiana, it was like a scrimmage. Now, they have to step it up and hope they can put on a better performance than their Big-10 opener against Ohio State where they lost 49-21.
Penn State (4-0) scored on the last play of the game to defeat the rugged Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa. It was a thrilling game where Barkley showed he’s the best player in the country and McSorley reminded us of his moxy. The Nittany Lions look to ride the emotional high and not have any letdowns this week against the Hoosiers.
The spread opened with PSU favored by 18 points. It has since come down to PSU being favored by 16.5 points.
Penn State is 9-1 against Indiana over the last 10 meetings. During that span, they have outscored the Hoosiers by an average of 10 points per game. PSU won a high scoring affair last season 45-31, but you can expect them to build off their defensive success from last week and hold the Hoosiers below their average of 35 points per game. The Nittany Lions are only giving up 8 points per game and a total of 273 yards per game. In comparison, the Hoosiers are allowing over 428 total yards per game and 27 points per game.
Penn State’s offense is steamrolling through the season averaging 493 total yards per game. They’re doing this at an impressive balance of 282 passing yards per game and 214 rushing yards per game. The Hoosiers are allowing 196 yards on the ground per game and you can bet that PSU will take advantage of this.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – look for Saquon Barkley to pound the Hoosiers into submission and McSorley to put the nails in the coffin. Last week, against a great Hawkeyes defenses, Barkley put the NCAA on notice as he amassed over 300 total yards in receiving and rushing. For the season, Barkley has 518 rushing yards, 335 receiving yards and 6 total touchdowns. He is the best running back in the Nation and is well on his way to becoming this year’s Heisman Trophy winner.
McSorley, who threw the last second touchdown pass to win the game against Iowa has over 1000 passing yards on the season and 10 touchdown passes. He also has nearly 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The duo of McSorley and Barkley are going to be too much for Indiana to handle.
Although the Hoosiers average 35 ppg and total 404 yards per game, they haven’t faced a defense like PSU. The closest comparison was Ohio State and they easily beat Indiana by 4 touchdowns. I expect PSU to do the same. PSU only gives up 158 passing yards per game and that’s where Indiana’s offensive strength is. Expect the PSU defense to get after Hoosiers quarterback Richard Lagow and force bad throws or turnovers.
Indiana is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games at Penn State. They’re 1-12 ATS when a road underdog of 14.5 to 17 points. PSU is 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games and 7-0-2 ATS in their last 9 home games.
Look for McSorely to throw for at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns as he picks up the scraps from when Barkley destroys this Hoosiers defense. Saquon will put up at least 150 yards on the ground and another 50 via receiving, to easily go over 200 total yards. The Hoosiers have no answer for Barkley and the scoreboard will reflect it come Saturday. I expect PSU to win by at least 3 touchdowns.