Penn State Hosts Rutgers in Homecoming Clash
Well, it’s been a tough stretch for the Nittany Lions, having lost the past two games. But now Rutgers comes to town. Time for a laugher to elevate the mood.
#14 Penn State (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) hosts the unranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-5, 3-3 Big Ten) at St. Joe Stadium at Beaver on Saturday at high noon. (It’s hard to get high by noon, but when I was at PSU, we were high from the night before. But I digress.)
No Prisoners Will Be Taken
Hard to believe that Rutgers is only a game behind PSU in the East Division. Their signature wins have been over Morgan State, and conference wins over Illinois, Purdue, and Maryland, while Nebraska, Ohio State, and Michigan cleaned their clocks by a combined total of 118-31. The most lopsided loss was a 56-0 rout by tOSU.
Beyond Penn State, they have to play Indiana and then their contrived rotating rivalry game with Moo U. Things aren’t looking good for bowl eligibility for Rutgers.
Saquon’s Last Stand
Once everybody’s favorite for the Heisman Trophy, Saquon Barkley is now on the outside looking in. I would suspect that Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma has a firm grip on the statuette at the moment. If we do not see a strong all-around performance by Barkley in this game, he’ll sadly be an also-ran.
It is a shame that the Nittany Lions have not been able to put any semblance of a competent offensive line on the field in front of Barkley. This creates frustration instead of joy for fans. I feel as if I’ve been denied the pleasure of watching a master at his game, at least one major facet of it. Saquon Barkley is comparable to Pro Bowler LeVeon Bell of the Steelers, without the greed and the big mouth.
Rutgers Rushing Defense Bites the Big One
Anyhow, given that Rutgers’ rushing defense is the second-crappiest in the conference, it’s now or never for Saquon. I doubt that even a great performance would place him with the top contender, but three excellent games from him will get him an invitation to the stage at the NYAC event, anyhow.
I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again. If Barkley had a decent offensive line, he’d be putting up numbers like Larry Johnson, Jr. in 2002.
The Central Pennsylvania weather gets an IS rating. (IS = It suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks) Snowed yesterday and it’s going to be cold on Saturday, with a couple of clouds, but no significant precipitation or wind. High of 36°F, low of 24°F. Ew!
Da Bottom Line
I’m not doing a huge amount of analysis for this game, because that usually leads me to the wrong conclusion. Besides, I haven’t had a lot of time. So this one will be straight out of left field (a euphemism for my ass).
Gambling line opened at PSU – 28-1/2 and promptly sailed to -31. Over/under is 52-1/2. This suggests that da wise guys are expecting a 42-10 rout by the Nittany Lions.
Well, I think that if tOSU can score 56 on Rutgers, so can PSU! Yeah, take that! Dumb decisions by the Penn State coaching brain trust will give Rutgers an opportunity, so they’ll score a field goal in the second quarter, and that will be the last we will hear from the Rutgers offense. Penn State 56, Rutgers 3. Take the over.