Penn State football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Nittany Lions will do this year.
Is this when Penn State football is going to start being a Penn State football again – at least on the field? Will James Franklin be able to crank up the big season needed? Check out the preseason predictions for every game.
Sept. 3 vs. Kent State
The Golden Flash defense will, statistically, be one of the best in the country again, but the offense will once again be among the worst. Penn State’s defense will look special, while the offense will be efficient enough to win without breathing hard.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 31, Kent State 7
Sept. 10 at Pitt
This is a loaded and talented Pitt Panther team with enough pop to pull off the win, but it’s not going to happen. All of a sudden, the Penn State offensive line that was such a problem last year will look fully jelled in a terrific game for the ground attack.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 23, Pitt 20
Sept. 17 vs. Temple
Death, taxes, McDonald’s french fries, and Penn State beating Temple every year. The sure things in life took a hit when the Owls came up with a thrilling win last season after years, and years, and years of being beaten up. That shan’t happen this time around against an ultra-motivated Nittany Lion team.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 26, Temple 6
Sept. 24 at Michigan
It’ll be one of the most frustrating games of the year. The Penn State offense will have its chances, but it won’t be able to get it done with too many stalls and too many key mistakes at the wrong time. The defense will do its part, but it won’t be enough.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan 17, Penn State 12
Oct. 1 vs. Minnesota
It’ll be another slugfest game that’ll make the fans worry about an offensive regression. The defense will pick off Mitch Leidner three times, and the offense will do just enough to capitalize on the mistakes to get a nice bounce back following the Michigan gaffe.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 27, Minnesota 17
Oct. 8 vs. Maryland
Just when it seems like everything is rolling for a 4-0 Maryland team, Penn State – and reality – will hit hard. The Terps will get down early and come up with a few late cosmetic scores.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 34, Maryland 17
Oct. 22 vs. Ohio State
The offense just won’t work. Turnovers, stalled drives, poor caddying – Penn State’s attack will have too many problems against an Ohio State team that comes out focused and fired up after losing at Wisconsin.
Preseason Prediction: Ohio State 23, Penn State 10
Oct. 29 at Purdue
The Boilermakers will make this more of a game than Penn State might like. They’ll be in control and seem ready to pull this off, and then the Nittany Lion offense will go on two good fourth quarter scoring drives to squash Purdue’s hopes and dreams.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 31, Purdue 27
Nov. 5 vs. Iowa
If you like lots and lots of offense, feel free to look elsewhere. Iowa will come up with a decent day from the passing game, but it’ll be full of lots of dinking and dunking with nothing big happening deep. Penn State will settle for field goals, but there will be just enough of them to get out with a win.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 19, Iowa 17
Nov. 12 at Indiana
Indiana is 1-18 all-time against Penn State, and that’s about to change in one of the shockers of the 2016 season. The Hoosier defense that’ll get mocked and ridiculed all season long will have its moment. This is a dog days game – Penn State will be too sluggish.
Preseason Prediction: Indiana 24, Penn State 20
Nov. 19 at Rutgers
Coming off the loss at Indiana, Penn State will snap back to reality with a balanced offensive effort in a breeze of a road game. After playing Michigan State, Rutgers will be a bit beaten up.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 34, Rutgers 14
Nov. 26 vs. Michigan State
Michigan State will still be in the hunt for the Big Ten title, and all that will go away as Penn State comes up with the biggest statement win in the James Franklin era. After losing to Sparty 55-16 last year, the Nittany Lions will make their comeback and be far stronger in a thriller that’ll change up the Big Ten season.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 26, Michigan State 24
2016 Prediction: 9-3
2016 Big Ten Prediction: 6-3