Predictions: Indiana Vs. Penn State

Jordan Wells, Stu Jackson & Taylor Lehman, TheHoosier.com Staff
The Hoosier

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IU head coach Tom Allen and the Hoosiers kickoff against Penn State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN.

Check out our staff predictions for the game below.

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Jordan Wells/TheHoosier.com

Staff Predictions

Taylor Lehman: Penn State 32, Indiana 23 - Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley might be the best one-two punch IU will play this season. With Penn State nearly losing to Iowa on the backs of good games from Barkley and McSorley, there’s a possibility that IU could pull something off if the defense forces turnovers. Regardless, Barkley will have a monster game, even though he only had 58 rushing yards against IU last season. He’s the best player in the nation, hands down, and with Ohio State freshman JK Dobbins putting up 181 yards on this defense in week one, there’s no question IU will let Barkley do the same.

Stu Jackson: Penn State 42, Indiana 21 - The big question surrounding this game, for me at least, is will IU be able to limit Penn State running back Saquon Barkley as effectively as it did last year? If there was one thing learned from the Hoosiers’ matchup with Ohio State to open the season, it’s that history, more specifically performances, don’t always repeat themselves. While IU returns the majority of the starters who helped hold Barkley to 33 carries for 58 yards, an average of 1.8 yards per carry, in last year’s game, I’m tempering expectations of a repeat performance.

Jordan Wells: Penn State 31, Indiana 21 -The Nittany Lions absolutely obliterated two of the lowest ranked teams in the FBS, Akron (52-0) and Georgia State (56-0). Then they also defeated Pittsburgh 33-14. What's interesting, though, is the Panthers look pretty weak on-paper this year through their first four games. Iowa's the only good team Penn State has seen, and the Nittany Lions had to win that on a touchdown as time expired (granted, Penn State pulled it off on the road.) The advanced stats suggest IU and Iowa are actually on a nearly even plane thus far this year - the Hawkeyes' other games include wins over Wyoming (24-3), Iowa State (44-41) and North Texas (31-14), and none of those margins really blow you away. I can't go as far as to pick IU, but I could see the Hoosiers making this one closer than expected.

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