Nittany Lions Wire staff predictions: Will Penn State struggle with Rutgers?

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Penn State will close out its home portion of the 2021 regular season Saturday afternoon against Rutgers. And if history is any indication, Penn State should be celebrating one final win in Beaver Stadium this season while putting the bowl hopes of the Scarlet Knights on the line in their regular-season finale next week. There is certainly a lot at stake in this year’s meeting as Rutgers is searching for bowl eligibility under Greg Schiano, who also knows the importance of his program finally getting a win against the Nittany Lions.

Penn State is as vulnerable as they have been in this series since the first Big Ten meeting in 2014, but will Rutgers have the offense it needs to give the Nittany Lions a solid scare just before Thanksgiving? Here’s what our staff has to say about this weekend’s matchup.

Sam Dehring, Contributor (@Sam_Dehring68)
Season overall (Against the spread): 7-2 (6-3)

I think Penn State will win this game in fashion. Rutgers hasn’t done enough to really make any noise all season. I think the score will be 27-13, Penn State.

Kevin McGuire, Editor (@KevinOnCFB)
Season overall (Against the spread): 7-2 (5-4)

When I look at recent results in this series with Rutgers, I see Penn State has strung wins together, but not in the way some other Big Ten teams have handled the Scarlet Knights. That doesn’t necessarily concern me when predicting the outcome of this year’s matchup, but given what we have seen this season I do believe we are in for another game that is never really in doubt. At the same time, don’t expect a lot of pizazz and electricity in this one. I’d love to see some of these players light it up in front of the home crowd one final time, but I think this is a slow burn for Rutgers.

Penn State 26, Rutgers 9

I also shared my thoughts for this week’s state media roundup organized by Cory Giger for DK Pittsburgh Sports.

David Malandra, Contributor (@DaveMReports)
Season overall (Against the spread): 5-4 (2-7)

Defense will be the story of this game for Penn State. This will be a low-scoring affair with Penn State winning 16-13.

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