This game is all about Penn State as they look to reestablish themselves as a Big 10 powerhouse after stumbling two weeks in a row. Additionally, they are still mathematically alive to win the Big 10 East division and a trip to the conference title game. Nebraska’s season is already over with and they might be playing without starting quarterback Tanner Lee who is in concussion protocol. Kickoff inside Beaver Stadium is at 4 PM ET.
Since 2002, Nebraska has a 4-1 record against the Nittany Lions. In fact, Penn State has not beaten Nebraska since 2002. These two teams last played in 2013, and Nebraska won that game 23-20.
Nebraska (4-6, 3-4 Big 10) has lost their last 2 games including a 54-21 blowout defeat to Minnesota last weekend. The Cornhuskers have packed it in this season and, even though they can still get to a bowl game, they won’t win this weekend and their post season aspirations will end.
Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big 10) still has an outside shot at the Big 10 East division. It’s going to take them winning out and a little luck from other teams losing like OSU and MSU, which just happens to be the two teams that defeated PSU this season. Both of those losses came late in the game, otherwise PSU could be undefeated if they would’ve held on to their leads.
The spread opened with PSU favored by 23.5 points. It has gone up to 26 points. The Over/Under opened at 56.5 points and has gone up to 57 total points.
This game isn’t a question of whether or not PSU will win, but it’s a question of how much they will win by. PSU has the capability of beating bad teams by 28 points or more, just look at last weekend’s win over Rutgers where they started off slow and then poured it on. This week, I don’t see them starting off slow as they jump on Nebraska early and keep their foot on the gas pedal all game long.
PSU averages 37.7 ppg, which is 17th best in the country. McSorley averages 283 passing yards per game and the PSU offense averages 146 rushing yards per game. Nebraska gives up 32.5 ppg, 412 total ypg and 200 rushing yards per game. In other words, this is a great matchup for PSU and it will be a Happy Valley Massacre of the Cornhuskers this weekend.
Defensively, PSU is still a solid team despite a few slip ups along the way. They’re 4th in the nation at allowing only 13.9 ppg and Nebraska will have a tough time moving the ball on them. If Tanner Lee doesn’t play, this game will be even worse.
Nebraska is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 1-2-2 ATS in their last 5 games against PSU, 2-5 ATS in Big 10 games this year, 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games as an Underdog, and 3-7 ATS on the season. Penn State is 15-3-1 ATS in their last 19 games, 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 home games, and 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.
I expect the PSU offense to light up the scoreboard this week. In fact, I see them surpassing their 37.7 ppg average on the season as Nebraska offers no real threat defensively. PSU is a juggernaut at home and I believe both Barkley and McSorley will have big games. Look for Trace to throw for over 250 passing yards and 3 total touchdowns. Barkley will surpass 150 total yards and get at least one TD in this game. I also expect the PSU defenses to force a few turnovers, which will give a short field to the offense. PSU will win this game 44-17.