If you were to build a ranked opponent for this year's Northwestern team to upset, Penn State would be it. The defense is great, but NU has moved the ball on some very good defenses. The offense can't pass. The special teams are terrible. Does this mean that I'm taking the 'Cats? Not a chance. I do think that this game will be painfully close for most of the game, as Penn State struggles to put Northwestern away and the NU offense just struggles, but Penn State wins.
Penn State, 24, Northwestern, 13
Forget the negativity. Even in our worst years, we're good for at least one logic-defying upset a season. It might as well be Penn State. Since this is a logic-defying upset, I really have no reasons to give you for why NU will win. There's going to be a good crowd of purple on hand for homecoming, our offense is starting to jell, and hopefully this time our defense has its calls straightened out. At the very least, our offense should be fun to watch. I expect a good contest. Also, I'm flying in for the game, so Fitz and Co., please don't ruin my trip.
Northwestern 31, Penn State 13
If you get so drunk before and during a football game that you don't remember it, does the game still count? Because that's my plan for Saturday. Penn State is by far the best defense Northwestern will have faced this season, and Northwestern's defense is making fans long for the Greg Colby era. Unless Rob Bolden and/or Matt McGloin turn the ball over like crazy, Penn State cruises to victory. Those blindly searching for optimism may point to the so-called Triangle of Pain reversing itself thus far this season (NU always beating Iowa, Iowa always beating Penn State, Penn State always beating NU), but the Penn State over NU part was never the slightest bit surprising in football; the third side of the triangle is PSU's bizarre dominance of Northwestern in basketball, which will likely end this year as Penn State rebuilds. In football, Penn State will keep on rolling.
Penn State 31, Northwestern 10
Jesus, guys. We're about to face a team with an all-conference running back and MATT MCGLOIN AND ROB BOLDEN at quarterback, and they're not even going to think twice about slinging the ball all over the field unabated for multiple touchdowns. This is hell. For the nth straight week, I'm confident in NU's offense to put up points, but haven't the slightest bit of faith in Northwestern's pass defense to stop the Nittany Lions at all. Penn State really shouldn't be ranked, and NU will show this by playing them tight. But everything hurts right now for NU fans and I don't see that stopping tomorrow.