A Look At Penn State’s Matchup Vs Perdue On Saturday

A Look At Penn State’s Matchup Vs Perdue On Saturday

Penn State College Football vs Perdue at PlaySugarHouse

Last week, I said the Penn State Nittany Lions would cover the spread and the total points would be under. Both of those things happened, even though it didn’t quite turn out close to the score I had guessed. 59-0 isn’t just a completely dominant performance, it’s the type of road win over a conference opponent you typically only get if your opponents get food poisoning, their quarterback gets mono, or the whole team is trying to get their coach fired. I’m fairly certain none of that was in play.

Thoughts on last week’s rout

Alas, getting a win on the road in such dominating fashion speaks to the discipline and hard work put in by this Penn State football team. That may sound cliché or whatever but consider a few things first. For one, if you’re Maryland, you’re hosting a conference opponent in front of a large crowd at home. I find it hard to believe Maryland wasn’t putting forth the effort. When Penn State took a massive halftime lead, it becomes an issue of pride for the home team in that situation to try to at least score or stop the other team from beating you like a drum. Neither of those things happened and the result was total annihilation of a team who was ranked just a few weeks before.

For the game itself, it was complete domination from the opening kick until the final whistle. Maryland made critical turnovers at key moments early and the game just sort of snowballed. The Penn State defense swarmed and maintained their assignments all game, suffocating a dangerous Maryland offense in the process. Penn State’s four sacks, eight tackles for loss, three interceptions and 128 yards allowed were overshadowed by Sean Clifford’s 398 yards through the air and 54 yards on the ground — four total touchdowns. He gave Penn State fans more than a few reasons to smile and feel good about their team going forward.

Clifford’s success through the air and Penn State’s discipline on defense were two areas many Penn State fans weren’t sure would stay firm last week. One fun note was that there were eight Penn State players to have more receiving yards than the top yardage leader from Maryland. Overall, it was an outstanding early road “test” for Penn State.

Nittany Lions takes on Purdue

This week, the Nittany Lions are hosting a Purdue team coming off a loss against Minnesota which was significant for a few reasons. Not only did Purdue lose the game, they lost their starting quarterback to injury and Rondale Moore, the projected first-round receiver, is suffering from a hamstring injury and likely won’t play. Without their two best offensive players, Purdue is in for a world of trouble this weekend. The spread currently sits in favor of, drum roll… Penn State, you guessed it! They’re 28.5 point favorites at home. Kickoff is set for 12 PM ET.

I’m not concerned about this game for Penn State. They should roll to an easy victory, especially given the fact Purdue has allowed 31 points to every team on their schedule except for Vanderbilt. Their offense is in shambles, their defense isn’t good. This game has blowout written all over it. If we’re being picky though, there are a few areas I’d like to see Penn State work on before heading to Iowa next week.

Win the battles in the trenches

Four sacks and eight tackles for rush was nice for the box score, but it could’ve easily been a lot more. Controlling the line is so critical to success on both sides of the ball, so winning the war in the trenches will be critical in dictating whether this game is a fight or a beat down. Regardless of who the new quarterback is for Purdue, you can bet that if he has a clean pocket to throw in, there should be a decent rate of success.

Penn State’s front seven is going to want to disrupt the line early and often to make sure the QB doesn’t get settled into any sort of rhythm. Offensively, giving Sean Clifford a clean pocket did wonders for the Nittany Lions a week ago, so if they can replicate the same levels of pass protection this week, this game will be a blowout.

Continuation of the effort through four quarters

We saw a complete effort through four quarters a week ago in Maryland. There were no late blown assignments or a lack of intensity because the game was already theirs. It was a great effort through the game’s entirety. When teams compete at this level and rate for four quarters, it shows a lot about how solid the coaching staff is, top to bottom. When games become close late, having this level of discipline and drive is critical to getting the W.

This week, regardless of the score, I want to see this Penn State team control this game from start to finish and not give up late scores. If they can put in another dominant performance, I’ll feel pretty good about next week’s showdown in Iowa.

Penn State -28.5 is the line and 56.5 is the total points line. I AGAIN am taking Penn State and the under. I’m looking forward to next week’s showdown in Iowa. I only hope the Nittany Lions aren’t looking past Purdue this weekend.

Prediction: Penn State 45 Purdue 10