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NSN Staff Predictions: Will Penn State Get Right Against Rutgers?

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: Drew Allar warms up before taking the field for his first start against Michigan.

Penn State is starting a new era today against Rutgers.

It’ll be the first game the team’s played in the post-Mike Yurcich era.

After another loss to Michigan, the team fired its offensive coordinator Sunday.

Now, RB coach Ja’Juan Seider and TE coach Ty Howle— who previously were co-offensive coordinators— will be running the show.

Here’s what our staff thinks will happen in the first game of that regime.

Kevin Quigley: 
There’s no sweating this one. It’ll be interesting to see the change in look for the offense. I expect a big leap there. Penn State’s defense will remain dominant.

Penn State 45, Rutgers 7

Austin Bechtold: It will be fascinating to see how PSU plays with Big Ten title and College Football Playoff hopes out the door. How will the team respond with the most important goals gone? How the offense will change around Drew Allar with Mike Yurcich gone will be one of the main things to look out for Saturday. On Senior Day, Penn State will get the job done and continue its dominance against most of the Big Ten.

Penn State 31, Rutgers 17

Andy Stine: It’s Thanksgiving break for the students, it’s Rutgers, and there was a major disappointment last week for PSU against Michigan. I’m going with a pre-Thanksgiving snooze, even though it shouldn’t be all that close.

Penn State 35, Rutgers 28

Ethan Ronan: I think James Franklin and Co show off a little with the new playbook to show a new page in the Franklin Era. Penn State gives the seniors a proper send off.

Penn State 37, Rutgers 13

Jarrod Prugar: This has to be a game where the Penn State offense gets itself situated early. New play callers provide skepticism, but Penn State should have no problem with Rutgers.

PSU 49, Rutgers 10

Blue & White (The Nittany Pod): PSU 31,
Rutgers 7

TK (The Nittany Pod): PSU 28, Rutgers 14

AP (The Nittany Pod): PSU 31, Rutgers 13

Me: Coming into Penn State’s game against Michigan last weekend, I felt that if Penn State lost, there would be a very real chance that it followed that up by losing to Rutgers. Indiana’s much worse than Rutgers— as evidenced by Rutgers’ 31-14 win in Bloomington last month—. Yet, the week after Penn State lost at Ohio State, Indiana came in as four-touchdown underdogs and came within a touchdown and defensive stop away of shocking the world. You don’t think the post-Ohio State hangover/sleepy-noon kick Beaver Stadium atmosphere had anything to do with that?

Well, Penn State’s again coming off a draining loss and again playing at noon— and since students are on Thanksgiving Break, it probably will be another sleepy atmosphere. But there are two reasons I’m not even entertaining the possibility of a Rutgers upset.

  1. Rutgers lost 22-0 to Iowa last week
  2. I expect Penn State’s offense to play with juice, with the firing of OC Mike Yurcich and RB coach Ja’Juan Seider and TE coach Ty Howle tag-teaming the job for the rest of the season.

We’ll see what effect, positive or negative, Yurcich’s firing has long term. But in the short term, I think it will be a shot in the arm, and I think Penn State will be motivated enough on both sides of the ball to pound Rutgers.

Penn State 42, Rutgers 7

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