Four bold Penn State vs. Wisconsin predictions from the Campus Insiders team for Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game between the Nittany Lions and Badgers.
Corey Clement runs for 250 yards and Wisconsin still loses. Alex Hornibrook is banged up, though even when healthy there was cause for concern with the Badgers’ passing game. A pair of crucial interceptions – whether from Hornibrook or Bart Houston – will fell Wisconsin. Penn State wins, and the CFP committee starts the long, arduous process of deciding how many (and which) Big Ten teams should make the Playoff.
Penn State has seen four different offensive tackles knocked out of its lineup, which is never a good thing when going up against a Badgers defense that has been speedy, physical and stout despite some of their own injury issues this year. Linebacker T.J. Watt, who has 9.5 sacks, registers 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception in an all-Big Ten performance in Indy.
Saquon Barkley may be a little banged up, but I don’t see how he’s not going to play in the Big Ten title game. He’ll suit up, and the Nittany Lions will rely on him to carry them past Wisconsin. The Badgers have been solid defensively all season long, but they won’t be able to keep Penn State off the board. Barkley will go for more than 100 rushing yards and will find the end zone twice. Plus, Trace McSorley will protect the football and will keep drives alive with his arm while flashing the deep ball a few times. Corey Clement will have a great game, but Penn State wins by 10. And that’s my bold prediction. Clement rushes for 200 yards, three touchdowns and still loses.
The announcers will spend more than half the game talking about what the outcome means for Ohio State and Michigan instead of the two teams on the field. Wait, that’s not bold, is it? Okay. Wisconsin running back Corey Clement will rush for over 250 yards, exciting his head coach Paul Chryst so much that an actual human emotion appears from his face. Wisconsin wins, and plays in the Rose Bowl, which is a lot better than playing for a national title, or so one of my buddies that went to Wisconsin told me in 2010 when the Badgers played in Pasadena while Auburn won the national championship. Yes, he actually said that.