Sunday, October 5, 2014

2014 Penn State Football Predictions

For the past two years I have both, made season predictions for Penn State Football, and wrote game recaps for each game (I will leave a link to both articles of my season predictions, and all of my game recaps from the past two seasons). We will take a look at each game, give a little summary, and predict outcome as well as the score.
Penn State vs Central Florida
Christian Hackenberg will have a season of experience under his belt, and put in a solid effort last season in the Nittany Lions meeting with the Knights. (21/28 262 passing yards 1 TD). Zach Zwinak ran for three touchdowns. Central Florida will be without Blake Bortles and Storm Johnson. The Knights are returning three of their leading receivers from last year, but Central Florida quarterback Justin Holman will be playing behind an inexperienced offensive line and a much improved Penn State secondary.
Final Score: Penn State 35   Central Florida 24

Actual Result- Penn State 26 Central Florida 24

Penn State vs Akron
Akron finished the 2013 season on a good note by winning its last three games. But despite some improvement, Penn State should still come away with the easy win in this contest
Final Score Penn State 34  Akron 13

Actual Result- Penn State 21 Akron 3

Penn State vs Rutgers
This one may be a surprise test for the Nittany Lions. On paper Penn State are clear favorites, but Rutgers returns 8 starters on offense, including quarterback Gary Nova. But the Scarlet Knights gave up an average of 400 yards on defense per game (412.8). Not to mention 312 yards through the air, where Hackenberg could put on a clinic in this game
Final Score Penn State 45  Rutgers 21

Actual Result- Penn State 13 Rutgers 10

Penn State vs UMass
In what should be a tune up game before entering the heart of the season schedule, the Nittany Lions should run away with this one, and be able to give some players on bottom part of depth chart some playing time
Final Score Penn State 55 UMass 10

Actual Result- Penn State 48  UMass 7

Penn State vs Northwestern
Northwestern always puts up a good fight against Penn State. But expect the Nittany Lions like in recent games before, to take control of this one by the second half with its running attack.
Final Score Penn State 41 Northwestern 31

Actual Result- Northwestern 29  Penn State 6

Penn State vs Michigan
Heading into the Big House is no easy task. It is even harder going into Ann Arbor during primetime. Perhaps another instant classic is in store for us when the Nittany Lions and Wolverines meet up in 2014. Whether or not that is the case, I expect the Wolverines to come out on top in this one.
Final Score Penn State 25 Michigan 35

Actual Result- Michigan 18 Penn State 13

Penn State vs Ohio State
This one will be a lot closer than last year’s embarrassing 63-14 loss in Columbus. Plus this one will also be in primetime, but this time in State College. But in the end Braxton Miller and the Ohio State Buckeyes experience will ultimately win out in this one
Final Score  Penn State 28  Ohio State 38

Actual Result Ohio State 31  Penn State 24

Penn State vs Maryland
The Nittany Lions will face an experienced Maryland team (thanks to injuries that allowed players on bottom of depth chart to receive playing time) If Maryland can stay healthy, it may walk out of Beavier Stadium with a “W”
 Final Score Penn State 28  Maryland 35

Actual Result- Maryland 20 Penn State 19

Penn State vs Indiana
One of the main reasons Penn State lost to Indiana for the first time in school history last season was because they did not stick to the ground game (which Indiana ranked amongst one of the worse last season (110th). If they stick to a sound game plan, control the game clock, and keep Indiana’s offense off the field as long as possible, then the Nittany Lions will avoid another upset.
Final Score  Penn State 44 Indiana 26

Actual Result- Penn State 13-7

Penn State vs Temple
Giving up nearly 300 yards a game through the air last year, Hackenberg will have another day at the office against the Owls secondary.
Final Score  Penn State 48  Temple 17

Actual Result- Penn State 30 Temple 13

Penn State vs Illinois
Illinois was both bad on the run game on both sides of the ball. Penn State is typically good at stopping the run, and a solid run game and performance by both Zach Zwinak and Bill Belton should vault the Nittany Lions past the Fighting Illini
Final Score  Penn State 27  Illinois 16

Actual Result-  Illinois 16 Penn State 14

Penn State vs Michigan State
 The Spartans will have one of the best defenses and ranked 2nd overall in the country last year on route to a 13-1 record which included a Big Ten Championship and a victory in the Rose Bowl over Stanford. The Nittany Lions will have their hands full on offense. But I actually expect Penn State to make this game closer than some may think by putting up a valiant effort on defense as well.
Final Score Penn State 20  Michigan State 24
Final Overall Prediction for 2014 Season: Penn State- Overall 8-4 (Big Ten 4-4)

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