Penn State vs Arkansas Prediction, Outback Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State vs Arkansas Prediction, Outback Bowl Prediction, Game Preview

College Football Predictions

Penn State vs Arkansas Prediction, Outback Bowl Prediction, Game Preview


Why Penn State Will Win The Outback Bowl

The Penn State defensive front has to get into the backfield.

The D might be missing some of the star parts, but the line is still athletic and active for a defense that allows fewer than 17 points per game. This isn’t a defense that cranks up a slew of sacks, but it’s good enough and generating pressure to cause problems.

Penn State has a wee bit of a penalty issue, but Arkansas has a massive one – the Nittany Lions should be up at least 30 total yards with this – and that might be just enough to matter in what should be a tight game.

The Arkansas offensive front allows way too many plays in the backfield, which is why the attack is bad on third downs, which all feeds into an issue in the time of possession battle. Penn State wants to move in a hurry – if everything goes like it’s supposed to – but Arkansas only holds the ball for around 28 minutes a game.

However …

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Why Arkansas Will Win The Outback Bowl

Arkansas makes it all work.

Yes, there are too many penalties, and yes, the offense isn’t consistent and stalls a bit too often, but the problems are offset by an efficient passing attack that doesn’t turn the ball over and hits a whole lot of big things down the field.

Not having Treylon Burks hurts, but there are other big, dangerous parts to the attack that should be able to press a good Penn State secondary that will deeply miss Jaquan Brisker at one safety spot.

That’s where KJ Jefferson comes in.

The 6-3, 245-pound sophomore quarterback can run – 554 yards and five touchdowns – and he’s got the arm to hit the deep shot. Most importantly for this attack and the team’s style, he doesn’t make mistakes. He’s got a quiet style without a lot of movement in his feet as he sets up. He’s strong enough to let the play develop, and then he brings the zip hitting 67% of his throws with 21 touchdown passes and just three picks.

As long as Jefferson and the offense can hit a few home runs, that might be enough for a Hog defense that should be able to hold down a Penn State offense that won’t run enough to matter.

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