Penn State doesn’t start its season for another six months when it takes on West Virginia Sept. 2 at Beaver Stadium.
But (very) early betting lines have already been set for what project to be its two biggest games.
For its game at Ohio State Oct. 21, FanDuel Sportsbook has PSU starting as an eight-point underdog. PSU hasn’t beaten Ohio State since 2016 and hasn’t won in Columbus since a 20-14 win Nov. 19, 2011. Ohio State, like Penn State, will have a new starting quarterback.
C.J. Stroud and Sean Clifford have moved on.
Drew Allar, barring injury, is expected to start for Penn State. Ohio State’s situation isn’t as clear.
Ohio State will have most of its main pieces back on both sides of the ball, returning, including J.T. Tuimoloau, who forced four turnovers that led to 21 points and was the difference in Ohio State’s 44-31 win Oct. 29 at Beaver Stadium in a game that was likely the difference between Penn State or Ohio State making the College Football Playoff.
For its Nov. 12 game at Beaver Stadium against Michigan, FanDuel has Michigan as a 1.5-point road favorite. J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum, and most of the pieces are still on the team that beat Penn State 41-17 at Michigan Stadium Oct. 15, on its way to winning the Big Ten Championship and competing in the College Football Playoff, where it lost to TCU 51-45.
Penn State is ranked fifth in the way too early 247Sports top 25 behind Georgia at No.1 , Alabama at No. 2, Michigan at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 4.
The Michigan series has been more competitive than the Ohio State series. Penn State last beat Michigan Nov. 28, 2020 27-17 in Ann Arbor. In their last meeting at State College Nov 13, 2021, Michigan won 27-17. QB Cade McNamara, now an Iowa Hawkeye, threw for three touchdowns.
There’s a lot of time until these games are played, and the rosters aren’t fully set yet. Former Kent State receiver Dante Cephas and 12 incoming Penn State freshmen have yet to arrive on campus. The transfer portal will open back up in April, so there will be one more opportunity for both teams to acquire talent.