Penn State heads home in Week 3 to take on an also winless Navy Midshipmen team. The Lions are coming off a heartbreaking 17-16 loss at Virginia. The Nittany Lions dominated the Cavaliers, but left Charlottesville with a defeat after kick Sam Ficken missed four field goals and had an extra point blocked.
The Nittany Lions will look to take advantage of the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium and pull from the energy of the always raucous Penn State crowd.
Below you will find bold predictions for the game. If things go well, the Penn State crowd will finally go home happy in 2012.
BOLD PREDICTION 1: Matt McGloin will throw three touchdown passes.
Quarterback Matt McGloin seems to have a good grasp on the new Bill O'Brien offense. He looks comfortable in the pocket and has been making smart throws. Most importantly for McGloin, he has thrown only one interception.
In Week 3, McGloin will go up a Navy defense that was torched for 43 points against Notre Dame in their Week 1 matchup. (Notre Dame scored 50 points in the game, but got a defensive touchdown on a fumble return.)
McGloin looked sharp against Virginia, throwing for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He has seemed to build a chemistry with wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Kyle Carter.
McGloin will make use of his weapons against Navy and toss three touchdown passes. Look for him to eclipse 250 yards as well.
BOLD PREDICTION 2: Kicker Sam Ficken will make two field goals.
No one had a worse day in Week 2 than Penn State kicker Sam Ficken. He missed four field goals, one of those a 20-yard chip shot, while the other was a 42-yard potential game-winner. An article on SportsIllustrated.com states that head coach Bill O'Brien in planning on sticking with Ficken in Week 3.
That being said, Ficken has to perform better if he want to keep his job. Ficken will show Penn State fans in Week 3 that he is more than capable of handling the placekicking duties.
Penn State's offense has struggled in the red zone, which bodes well for Ficken. He could have some chip-shot attempts to take advantage of against Navy.
Hey, it can't get any worse Ficken, he has nowhere to go but up.
BOLD PREDICTION 3: The Penn State defense will allow no more than 10 points.
The Penn State defense has shown that it will be relied on heavily to keep the Nittany Lions in games. In each of the first two contests, the defense looked very solid at the start.
In Week 1 against Ohio, the Lions controlled the first half, allowing only three points by halftime. Unfortunately, they showed fatigue and allowed 21 second-half points to the Bobcats.
The Lions again played solid on defense in Week 2, forcing four turnovers and allowing only 3 first-quarter points. They allowed the Cavs to score 14 second-half points and showed an inability to make third-down stops late in the game.
Navy brings a unique triple-option offense that was shut down by Notre Dame. If the Lions can control the run like they did at Virginia, only giving up 32 yards, the Midshipmen will be in for a long day.
Navy may rack up some yardage, but trips to the endzone will be few and far between.
BOLD SCORE PREDICTION: Penn State 34 Navy 10