Penn State will play its final game of the 2021 season this Saturday when they face the Arkansas Razorbacks for the first time in the 2022 Outback Bowl. Penn State has had an up and down season and the second half of the year has not been particularly kind to the Nittnay Lions, but James Franklin’s program has a chance to end the year with a postseason win.
Penn State will be playing the role of underdog this weekend against the Razorbacks as a result of losing so many players to early NFL departures and bowl game opt-outs. But how does our staff think things will turn out this weekend in Tampa? Here are our final game predictions of the 2021 season.
Sam Dehring, Contributor (@Sam_Dehring68)
Season overall (Against the spread): 8-2 (7-3)
This game will be a good opportunity for the underclassmen to start making a name for themselves. The player that I am most excited to watch is Parker Washington. With Jahan Dotson declaring for the draft, Washington could be in for a big game.
On the other side, Arkansas will be without Treylon Burks, as he also declared for the draft. Both teams will take advantage of their opponents being without their top wideouts. The question is, who will gain momentum first?
I do think Arkansas still comes out on top. Penn State will be without a few of their key defensive players, which I think will hurt them in this game. I think Arkansas wins this matchup with a final score of 27-17.
Kevin McGuire, Editor (@KevinOnCFB)
Season overall (Against the spread): 8-2 (6-4)
I would love to be able to sit here and tell you how much confidence I have in the next man-up philosophy here for the Nittany Lions, but I’m just not getting myself comfortable with that position. Losing four key starters on defense is a big concern for me, especially with Anthony Pojndexter calling the shots (not a knock on Poindexter, just reflecting on the overall situation). Againats a team as capable as this Arkansas team appears to be, with the performance of quarterback KJ Jefferson this season, this is just a bad spot for Penn State defensively, and I think the Razorbacks take advantage of that a few too many times.
I have confidence Penn State will be able to do some damage on offense, but the defense is ironically my biggest concern this weekend, and I think Arkansas capitalizes on it in key spots.
Arkansas 30, Penn State 27
Behind Enemy Lines: Razorbacks Wire editor shares insight on Outback Bowl opponent
Penn State DT Derrick Tangelo declares for NFL, will skip Outback Bowl
Arnold Ebiketie declares for NFL, will skip Outback Bowl
Breaking down latest betting developments for the Outback Bowl
Jaquan Brisker declares for NFL, will skip Outback Bowl
Jahan Dotson declares for 2022 NFL draft, will skip Outback Bowl
Penn State Bowl History: Sean Lee's redemption and Tony Hunt runs wild on Tennessee in 2007 Outback Bowl
How Penn State is using Outback Bowl on recruiting trail with Tampa target