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Can the 5-0 Northwestern Wildcats win on the road to retain their top 25 ranking against the Penn State Nittany Lions?
Much like we do, Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries likes to round up all their writers throws in some other bloggers from around the sphere to predict every one of their games. A lot of their writers acknowledged how good Northwestern was and how close the game should be, but at the end of the day, all 11 writers picked the Nittany Lions to win, some by several touchdowns. Well! They think they can do homerism, ehhh? WE'LL SHOW THEM HOMERISM
Our predictions, after the jump! Wait. Where's the jump. Do I not have jumps anymore? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO TO INTRODUCE THINGS IF I DON'T HAVE JUMPS
Penn State's offense isn't very good, and they have serious problems kicking field goals. On the other hand, they have a solid defense, are riding a three game winning streak, and are the home team. Even these advantages, however, are somewhat less than they appear. Penn State's opponents in that three game stretch are eerily similar to Northwestern's opponents so far this year: only Illinois has beaten an FBS team. Indeed, had Penn State not lost to them in week 2, Virginia would also not have beaten an FBS team. As for that defense, they have profited enormously from recovering 7 of their opponents' 9 fumbles. Take away that streak of fumble luck and their defense looks much worse. Still, this is only Northwestern's second road game, and Penn State might be the team's toughest opponent to date. This looks like a tossup, which means it is time to engage my homer-sense.
Final score: Northwestern, 27, Penn State, 20
With our deserved top-25 ranking, we're starting to get the hype, the attention, the notoriety. Many football pundits have picked NU to win this one. Will the Wildcats lay an egg as they so often have when they're media darlings? I say no. This is a different team than past Wildcat teams. They are not burdened by past failures. They play with confidence and poise. The defense picks up the offense, and the offense picks up the defense. This will be the team's toughest test yet, but I think they'll pass with flying colors against that white-out backdrop.
Final score: Northwestern, 28, Penn State, 17
remember last year when it was actually a thing that Northwestern was going to beat Penn State because of some stupid circle of transitive property fail involving Northwestern, Iowa and Penn State was finally going to be broken? good job, good effort.
Oh, and Bobby V is gone, our long regional nightmare is over. Praise Tebow.
Final score: Penn State, 35, Northwestern, 24
I initially went over to BSD to predict a 38-31 win by Penn State. Then I remembered their kicker, and I bumped my prediction down to 35-31. Now I'm sitting here remembering Penn State's offense. Matt McGloin has lit Northwestern up, year after year, but I think this defense is better than the ones he's played against. The scorelines don't show it, but it's been hard to run on this team and the pass numbers are skewed by Syracuse. And Michael Mauti's a beast, but he's merely one man. If Northwestern runs the Colterback offense, spread between the sidelines with the option of plays up the gut, Colter out to the side, and Venric Mark as his pitchman - plus a passing attack Colter didn't use last week - with Siemian dishing to Mark sometimes and sometimes tossing it to Colter et. al. - they'll need 11 really good players to keep NU from putting up more points than they allow. Kyle Prater catches his first TD, Sam Ficken hits a pair has his best game of the year, but still misses at least two field goals, and Northwestern comes away with the close victory.
Final score: Northwestern, 38, Penn State, 34
who ya got?
Northwestern Wildcats (89 votes)
Penn State Nittany Lions (64 votes)
153 total votes