Penn State vs. Purdue prediction and game preview. The Nittany Lions are ranked for the first time in five years as they visit the Boilermakers.
Penn State vs. Purdue Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – Noon ET
Where: Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Ind.
TV Broadcast: ABC/ESPN2
It took 2.5 years, but James Franklin finally has his signature victory as Penn State’s head coach. The Nittany Lions shocked most everyone with Saturday’s 24-21 victory over No. 2 Ohio State in Happy Valley, a game in which the deciding score game on a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. Penn State improved to 5-2 and 3-1 in Big Ten play, good enough to be ranked No. 24 – its first ranking since the end of the 2011 season.
Purdue had a chance to pull off its own stunner early Saturday as it led now-No. 7 Nebraska, 14-10, at halftime. But Gerad Parker’s debut as interim coach in place of the fired Darrell Hazell ended with the Cornhuskers scoring 17 unanswered points as the Boilermakers fell to 1-3 in the Big Ten. They’ll have another chance at a shocker Saturday, and this time it’ll be on their home field.
What To Know About Penn State
There’s no question that – at the very least – there would’ve been speculation about Franklin’s job security had this season ended without a true quality victory. The win over Ohio State likely saved him from that – if the Nittany Lions don’t falter immediately after.
Penn State still has some issues to clean up. Its 276 yards of offense were its second-fewest of the season to the 191 it managed in a 39-point loss to Michigan. It also gave up at least 400 for the third time in four games. The comeback from 14 down in the fourth quarter was inspiring, but Trace McSorley is going to have to be better than 8-of-23 passing moving forward.
What To Know About Purdue
The Boilermakers might’ve been inspired playing their first game since Hazell’s firing, but talent won out against Nebraska. Parker’s main goal is to keep the team focused knowing Purdue is likely to conduct a national search for a new coach, and he seemed to accomplish that off the bat.
However, 24 yards on 22 carries certainly won’t cut it, especially against a Penn State defense that’s 12th in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed per game. David Blough threw at least one interception for the third straight game against the Huskers and is completing just 56 percent of his passes.
Offense: Penn State – It gets the edge here strictly because of Saquon Barkley. Both teams have their issues here.
Defense: Penn State – The Boilermakers are last in the Big Ten in total defense allowing 441 yards per game.
Special Teams: Penn State – Just watch the fourth quarter of the Ohio State game.
Coaching: Penn State – Last week’s victory is big for Franklin moving forward.
Intangibles: Penn State – The Nittany Lions have won the last seven meetings.
Matchup To Watch
Barkley vs. Purdue’s run defense
Penn State likely will go to Barkley early and often, especially after the struggles McSorley had against Ohio State. The Boilermakers rank 13th in the conference allowing an average of 249 rushing yards per game.
Spread: Penn State -11.5
Over/Under: No Line as of post
Penn State vs. Purdue Prediction
Barkley registers his third 100-yard game of the season and scores twice, Blough is intercepted three times and Penn State leaves West Lafayette victorious without a letdown.
Penn State vs. Purdue final score prediction: Penn State 31, Purdue 13