Check out the Penn State vs. Minnesota fearless prediction and game preview.
Penn State (2-2) vs. Minnesota (3-0) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Oct. 1
Game Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: Beaver Stadium, State College, PA
Why Minnesota Will Win
Penn State might be getting more out of the passing attack, and it’s doing some good things here and there to move the ball, but the lines have been shockingly awful – although the O line has improved since last season – and the running attack isn’t going anywhere.
Saquon Barkley might be a fantastic back, but he’s not getting enough room to move the the ground attack isn’t going anywhere, coming up with just 405 yards on the season and averaging just three yards per carry. No running game, long third down chances, no third downs – Penn State is second-to-last in the nation in third down conversions, hitting just 24% of the time.
Minnesota is fifth in the nation in third-down D.
Offensively, Mitch Leidner has been excellent, doing exactly what’s needed for the Gopher attack, hitting 80% of his throws against Colorado State while taking off when needed to get the O moving. For a Minnesota team that’s allowed just one sack, Leidner will get time to work.
Why Penn State Will Win
Minnesota has a strange way of playing down to the competition.
The defense has been fine, the ground D has been great, the offense is grinding at times, and the special teams have been solid – and the team has had a rough time putting games away.
Oregon State was able to hang around. Colorado State was in the game late. Minnesota outplayed both the Beavers and Rams without a problem, but this isn’t a high-scoring offense that’s going to come out and hit the Nittany Lions with a 21-point first quarter.
Minnesota has yet to play against a decent quarterback, but it’s still allowing over 200 yards per game with eight scores in the three games with just one pick. The secondary is supposed to be an issue early on this year, and it’s looking like it – it just hasn’t been pushed.
QB Trace McSorley is just good enough to bomb away and pull this out if Barkley and the ground game get bottled up. He might have to.
What’s Going To Happen?
This is where the Gophers start to open some eyes, and this is also when the James Franklin hot seat discussion kicks in full force.
As always, it’s not going to be aesthetically pleasing, but Minnesota will be effective with a balanced offense that’ll run amok as the game goes on, while Leidner will be maddening with third down conversion after third down conversion.
Minnesota will win, setting the stage for a showdown against Iowa next week – win this, and the Gophers are this year’s version of last year’s Hawkeye teams.
Penn State vs. Minnesota Prediction
Final Score: Minnesota 34, Penn State 30
Line: Penn State -3, o/u: 56
ATS Confidence: 5: Treasure Bath – 1: Nahhhh … 3
Must See Rating: 5: Nicki Minaj T-Mobile ads – 1: Storks … 3.5