By Ryan Clark
Spread: Penn St-17 ½
Game Time/ Location: 12 pm ET, 11 am CT, ABC, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Pitt: The Panthers bring their 1-1 record into this one, and they are fresh off a 20-10 victory over Ohio. Kenny Pickett went 26-37 for 327 yards and a TD to Maurice Ffrench, who caught 10 passes for 138 yards, while AJ Davis rushed 13 times for 89 yards (6.8 yards per carry). Defensively, the Panthers held Ohio to 212 total yards, including just 35 on he ground, and they got six sacks on QB Nathan Rourke on the day. Rourke would finish the day with just a 15.7 QBR. In injury news, DL Keyshon Camp is out for the season with a knee injury.
Penn St: The 13th-ranked Nittany Lions come into this one 2-0, after a 45-13 win over Buffalo last week. In this game, Penn St actually trailed 10-7 at the half, before a momentum-turning pick six by CB John Reid in the 3rd turned the tides. Sean Clifford would finish the day 16-22 for 279 yards and four TD’s, while also rushing for 51 yards more. In fact, he was Penn St’s leading rusher. Johan Dotson and Pat Freiermuth combined for 208 yards receiving and the four TD’s. On the defensive side, the Nittany Lions allowed 245 yards passing and 184 yards rushing against the Bulls.
Final Analysis & Pick: This will be the 100th meeting between these two clubs. Penn St leads the all-time series, 52-43-4. Both teams got off to slow starts in their last games. The Nittany Lions badly lost the time of possession battle to Buffalo, 42:32 – 17:28, and were actually outgained by the Bulls 429-357. These are concerning numbers. Also, if your QB is the leading rusher against Buffalo with 51 yards, this is a problem. If Pitt can execute and sustain drives for all four quarters, they might just make this a game. Pitt’s defense is the strength of their team, and are currently ranked 25th in total yards allowed. I’m taking the under in this game.