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PSU pick: Lions will get by Hoosiers in tough game

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Pat Freiermuth

There are a lot of quirky things about this Penn State season opener:

**It’s on the road, which rarely happens for the Nittany Lions.

**It’s against a Big Ten opponent, which never happens.

**It’s with a new offensive coordinator who didn’t get to install his system in person during either the spring or summer.

**It’s during the craziest year of our lives, one that has seen the players have their season taken away, wait and wait and wait, then finding out they would get to play.

**It’s against an improving Indiana program and a team that is “by far” the best Hoosiers team the Lions have faced in recent years, according to James Franklin.

So, what will happen in this game?

Look for a good bit of sloppy play. That’s generally been the case for a slew of college football teams early on in their season.

Turnovers probably will be a big factor.

There should be a lot of points scored, since that’s just become the norm in college football.

Team leadership and preparedness will be paramount.

And that part is where Penn State is usually in good position for these kinds of games.

I made a video early in the week joking that this is Super Bowl 80 for James, because he likes to say every week is the Super Bowl, and this is his 80th game at PSU.

One of the best traits of the Lions during the Franklin tenure has been that they are prepared to play pretty much every week — regardless of the opponent, regardless of the location and regardless of any game situation.

Franklin’s 1-0 each week mentality works. He has gotten the kids to buy in, so much that you’ll hear one player after another repeat the 1-0 each week mantra.

Penn State will be 1-0 after this week.

The pick: PSU 34, Indiana 23

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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