Well, another year of Penn State football is around the corner, and I am sure some of you Penn State fans want to know what's going on in the world of PSU football.
This offseason might not have been the greatest one. For one, the early departure of Justin King did not help the secondary. Also, losing senior leader and Captain Dan Connor isn't for the better, and senior-to-be LB Sean Lee's season-ending knee surgery cost the team the next great PSU linebacker.
Last year was another disappointing one. With most of the starters coming back, things were looking up for the Nittany Lions. Unfortunately, Mr. Anthony Morelli wasn't up to par with his game, single-handedly losing about half of PSU's four losses.
This year Penn State returns 17 starters, and I'm sure you don't hope for another repeat of last year.
As I'm sure most of you know, there is a big QB battle in camp between Pat Devlin (Soph) and Darryl Clark (Jr). I guess I'll get started on the prediction thing now. Darryl Clark will start the year with Devlin getting some snaps in the game.
Well, let's get started on the game-by-game predictions.
August 30, 2008
Penn State vs Coastal Carolina
I really hope Penn State comes out with some fire to start the season. Even though it's a "cupcake game," we all know what happened to Michigan last year.
I think Clark and the offense will roll, and the defense will be nothing short of spectacular.
Score: 55-3 Penn State
September 6, 2008
Penn State vs Oregon State
Penn State fans should really be happy that this game is at the Valley. This Beavers team is good and should not be taken lightly by the Nittany Lions. The Beavers have finished in the top three in the Pac 10 for the past two years, and by the look of their roster I'd say they are shaped to repeat this kind of effort.
I don't think that there will be much scoring in this one. The defense saves the O and Penn State squeaks out a close one.
Score: 17-14 Penn State
September 13, 2008
Penn State @ Syracuse
I don't believe that the Orange will put up much of a fight in their own building. They don't match up well with Penn State.
Expect PSU to pound the ball away with Royster and Green for most of the game in a dominating performance from both the O and the D.
Score: 31-6 Penn State
September 20, 2008
Penn State vs Temple
I have to admire what Al Golden has done for a struggling, or for better words, flat-out bad Temple program. He led the Owls to their first four-win season since 2002. However, while I do believe Temple will continue to improve, they still don't have the offensive power to beat the Nittany Lions.
Clark, Royster and Butler all have career days, but who cares, it's Temple.
Penn State gets through its non-conference schedule without a loss and is 4-0 going into conference play.
Score: 45-0 Penn State
September 27, 2008
Penn State vs Illinois
An offensive-minded Illini team went 9-3 last year and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984. Regardless of the fact they got manhandled by aguably the best team in college football last year, USC, the Illini completely turned their season before (2-10) into a fun run which included a upset of then-No. 1 Ohio State.
They return most starters but do lose one of the best RBs in college football, Rashard Mendenhall. It will be tough to replace a man of this caliber, and I think that the offense will take a small step back this year.
Also no longer with the team is senior leader and Big Ten All-American J Lehman. His presence on the football field was fun to watch. Even if he didn't make the tackle, he cleared the way for another to make the tackle. He will be missed.
However, returning to the field is standout WR Arrelious Bennwho beat the Nittany Lions with an amazing Receiving TD and a kick return. There to throw the ball to him is Juice Williams, who should have a better year than last.
On the bad side, I do not think that the Illini will be as good as last year. I think they will hover around the 7-5 or 8-4 area, with one of the losses coming at PSU. Penn State goes to 5-0 (1-0) with a close win over Benn and the Illini.
Score: 27-24 Penn State
October 4, 2008
Penn State @ Purdue
Expect Purdue to have an explosive offense this year as they usually do. This, in my opinion, should be on the upset watch for the Nittnay Lions. The fact that they don't play well on the road, mixed with a likely ultra-conservative playcalling scheme, might inflict some pain on the watching fans.
Im going to put this one as a win for PSU, but don't be surprised if this is our first loss of the '08 season.
Score: 24-21 Penn State
October 11, 2008
Penn State @ Wisconsin
Wisconsin is in the same boat PSU is in—they both lost QBs and their best CB. I think the media is overhyping the Badgers' chances in the Big Ten. The offense will struggle this year, mainly due to the fact that P.J. Hill will underperform in big games versus good opponents like he usually does. For this reason, PSU comes out and wins a tough road game @ Wisconsin.
Score: 27-17 Penn State
October 18, 2008
Penn State vs Michigan
Could this finally be the year you fellow Penn State fans can say...We Beat Michigan.
I really don't think I need to get into detail about Michigan's offseason—it has been all over ESPN. Not getting Terrelle Pryor puts a big hole at QB, which probably will try to be filled by Steve Threet.
Michigan has lost their top two WRs, top QB, RB, OL, and got hurt by losing defensive players too. I don't want to go ahead and make a prediction on their season because they are in the same position OSU was in last year, and the Buckeyes made it all the way to the NC game.
This will finally be the year, as Penn State kills the Wolverines in the ground game and pulls out a W to go to 8-0 (4-0).
October 25, 2008
Penn State @ Ohio State
Ohio State could come into this game ranked No. 1 if they beat USC (which I think they will). This is the big test for Penn State after being spanked last year in their own building, 37-17. A win in this one could mean the Big Ten title—a loss could mean Rose Bowl and OSU national champs.
There to help the Buckeyes is newly found recruit Terrelle Pryor, who I think will be getting 10-20 snaps a game because of the transfer by Henton. I think he will be a big part of this game. This time the Buckeyes punt, but it doesn't matter. A late TD by them seals the deal, and the Buckeyes win, knocking PSU to 8-1 (4-1).
Score: 14-27 Ohio State
November 8, 2008
Penn State @ Iowa
After their first loss of the season, the Nitts have to travel to Iowa to take on a improved Iowa team. I'm sure most of you hope that PSU comes out pissed that they lost and takes it to 'em pretty good. Well, I agree. Penn State will dominate from the start, winning in a big manner and further solidifying their spot in a BCS bowl at 9-1 (5-1).
Score: 35-7 Penn State
November 15, 2008
Penn State vs Indiana
After the scare last season against a young but talented group of Hoosiers, Penn State wants to prove last year's game was a fluke. I don't see that happening. Even though Indiana lost their top receiver and one of the best in the country, James Hardy, their offense will still be lead by Kellen Lewis, a talented dual threat QB who has feet that can beat you and a rifle that can beat you.
Penn State will have to pass, pass, pass to keep up with this team, and Clark and Devlin deliver as PSU goes to 10-1 (6-1 in the conference).
Score: 31-30 Penn State
November 22, 2008
Penn State vs Michigan State
After the embarrassing loss that most likely took Penn State out of the hunt for a New Year's Day bowl game, the Lions are out to clinch a spot in the BCS.
Michigan State will be good next year—look for them to finish in the top four in the conference behind OSU, PSU, and UW. They come into Happy Valley and put up a good fight, and then win it on a last-second field goal and ruin PSU's chances at a National Title.
Score: 21-24 Michigan State
Well, 10-2 is not a bad year—good enough to get into the Rose Bowl against a good Pac-10 team. Hopefully you Penn Staters can get a win there.
Five Fearless Predictions on the Big Ten
1. Illini will have a worse year and will not make a New Year's Day bowl.
2. Minnesota will again finish with zero—count 'em, zero—conference wins.
3. Michigan will be better than most people think. An over-.500 team is most likely happening
4. Todd Boeckman will start the whole season.
5. Beanie Wells will win the Heisman.
Most Likely Bowl Matchup
1. PSU vs Arizona State
2. PSU vs USC