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Penn State Preview: Rutgers

The red hot Nittany Lions will take their six game winning streak into New Jersey for a battle with Rutgers.


Overview

After escaping disaster against Indiana, Penn State will head into another away game with another team that has their eyes set on upset. Rutgers has been playing poor all year, they’re 2-8 and have been absolutely destroyed by Big Ten foes. This is senior night for the Knights, and this is also their bowl game with the #8 team in the country coming into their house. Penn State has some issues, the offensive line is in a bad place, tackles Paris Palmer and Brendon Mahon are both out and it’s unclear if guard Connor McGovern will be able to go Saturday night. Penn State still has all their top weapons though, which could lead to trouble for the Scarlet Knights.

Notes

Location: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey

Time: 8 PM (EST)

Television: Big Ten Network

Opponent: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-8, 0-7)

Line: PSU -28

Last Meeting: 28-3 PSU (2015)

Visitors: 2017 commit and NJ native 3 star OT Robert Martin will attend as a fan, not visiting Rutgers

Injuries: OT Brendon Mahon (out) OG Connor McGovern (questionable)

Last Thoughts

Rutgers had been somewhat competitive since changing quarterbacks from Chris Laviano to Giovanni Rescigno, they almost won two games, but last week they got dismantled 49-0 by a poor Michigan State team. Rutgers has already lost to Ohio State 58-0 and Michigan 78-0, yikes. Rutgers’ problems are pretty easy to identify, everything is a problem, they’re only scoring 11.8 points per game in conference play and give up 38 a game. Teams run it down their throats averaging 251 rushing yards a game. Penn State will have to deal with two talented defensive tackles in Darius Hamilton and Julian Pinnix-Odrick and with the offensive line concerns, there’s some reason to be nervous.

Then again, Penn State has OC Joe Moorehead and even in a game in which Penn State was outplayed through much of the contest against Indiana, they still put up 45 points. Moorehead will try to run a lot of stretch plays with Barkley, getting him in open space, away from those DTs and his banged up line. McSorley will need to be a big factor with his feet, but Penn State will also need to throw the ball effectively. I look for New Jersey native Mike Gesicki to have a big game as I don’t think Rutgers has anyone who can guard him. Penn State needs to come out of the gates fast and score early to silence what should be a pretty decent crowd. A former Rutgers commit, I see Barkley having a field day in the first half and then giving way to Miles Sanders and Andre Robinson in the second half as I expect the Nittany Lions to command this game. Hopefully the lead will be big enough that Franklin can pull McSorley and let him rest his ankle. Penn State should beware of an upset, Rutgers will come to play, but I can’t see Rutgers moving the ball on Penn State’s defense and the Lions are just too talented on offense. I see the Nittany Lions getting one step closer to a Big Ten championship after this one.

Prediction: Penn State 52 Rutgers 13