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Staff Predictions: Will Penn State Have a Peachy Ending to 2023?

General images during the Penn State co-coordinator and players news conference prior to the 2023 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, in Atlanta, Ga. Penn State will face Ole Miss in the NCAA college football bowl game on December 30th. (Paul Abell via Abell Images for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl)

Atlanta— Peach Bowl day is finally here, Penn State fans.

Here are our staff’s predictions.

Andy Stine: I think this is one of the better matchups of all the non-playoff bowl games. Both programs lost to the two best teams in their conference. I think PSU only losing Chop Robinson and Johnny Dixon to an opt out is going to make a difference.

PSU 27, Ole Miss 20

Penn State is bought in on the 2023 Peach Bowl. The limited amount of opt outs shows the culture James Franklin has built, and his record in bowl games is impressive. I like how Penn State matches up, especially defensively. It’s up to the offense to find the consistency everyone’s been looking for all season.

PSU 35 Ole Miss 24

Penn State presents a wild-card in having interim coordinators on both sides of the football. The Nittany Lions have been fortunate to have their offensive players available for the bowl game and I look for that to be the difference in this one.

Penn State 38, Ole Miss 15

This will be a matchup of strength against strength, Penn State’s defense vs. Ole Miss’s offense. Like it was against Georgia, the Rebel offense could start hot but will ultimately be stopped. The new look Nittany Lion offense will be much improved, a performance similar to the Michigan State game.

PSU 31, Ole Miss 17

Joe Smeltzer: James Franklin doesn’t lose games he’s favored to win. Although Lane Kiffin hasn’t, either, this season, I think Penn State’s defense, even without Chop Robinson and Johnny Dixon, will be strong enough to slow down Ole Miss’ top 15 offense.

Penn State 34, Ole Miss 24

 

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