Penn State will take Saturday under the lights at Beaver Stadium against West Virginia. This will mark the first time the Mountaineers have been to State College since 1991 and the first time these two teams have faced off since 1992.
The game will be broadcast on NBC. It will be the first prime time game of the new Big Ten TV deal with the network. Also, Saturday will be the first time NBC has ever broadcast a game from Beaver Stadium, per Head Coach James Franklin.
A new quarterback will lead Penn State out of the tunnel for the first time since Sean Clifford’s first start in 2019. Although coach James Franklin is keeping his cards close to his chest and has yet to announce a starter, it would be shocking if anybody other than Drew Allar gets the call.
The offensive line is poised to be the strongest Penn State’s had under Franklin, anchored by Olu Fashanu. Fashanu was projected to be a first-round pick in this past NFL draft, but he chose to return to the Nittany Lions’ locker room to resolve some “unfinished business.”
Elsewhere, star running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen return for their sophomore seasons. Other notable skill position players returning are the dynamic tight end duo of Theo Johnson and Tyler Warren.
The defense this season could be stronger than last year’s, which finished T-9th in the country allowing 18.2 points per game.
Star linebacker Abdul Carter is also returning for his sophomore campaign. At defensive end, expect five or six guys to rotate in, most notably Chop Robinson and Dani Dennis-Sutton. The defensive back group returns Kalen King, who is ranked #2 on PFF’s list of top returning college cornerbacks.
Unfortunately, a player who won’t be taking the field is offensive guard Landon Tengwall who medically retired from football on Wednesday afternoon. Football is a game. Life is important. As unfortunate it is that he’s unable to continue his promising football career, the most important thing is his health and well-being beyond the gridiron.
Penn State shouldn’t have any issues winning this game. It’s not a matter of how, but by how much. West Virginia finished the 2022 campaign 5-7, missing out on a bowl game. It scored an average of 30.8 points per game last year but allowed 32.9. The Mountaineers compete in the Big 12, a conference notoriously known as one that doesn’t play defense. Feel free to inflate or deflate those numbers as you wish.
Here’s some more information about tonight’s game.
Weather forecast: Temperature (°F): H:82/L:62, mostly sunny (but it’s a night game), 6% chance of rain, SSW winds @ 6 MPH. (weather.com)
Spread and over under: PSU: -20.5, O/U: 50.5
TV channel: NBC
TV announcers: Noah Eagle (PXP), Todd Blackledge (color), Kathryn Tappen (sideline)
Streaming: Peacock + NBC Bundle, including fuboTV YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, DirectTV.
Radio announcers: Steve Jones (PXP), Jack Ham (color), Brian Tripp (sideline)
Prediction: Penn State 41, West Virginia 9