Central Michigan (1-2) at #14 Penn State (3-0)
Tickets are available as cheap as $19 for Penn State’s second home game of the 2022 season, as Sanguinarians®, Homies, and noonophobes have already put this contest in the win column for the now #14 Lions. Expectations are running high in the wake of the victory over a bad Auburn team. As I predicted, Sanguinarians are now starting to make their playoff plans. In view of this early optimism we fervently hope that when the bubble bursts, as it so graphically did last year, it does not leave lingering injuries.
While it is easy for the daydreaming (pipe dreaming?) fan base to look past the forthcoming two games and already be preparing for the trip to the Big House on October 15, let us hope that the team and its coaches recognize that the games with Central Michigan and Northwestern must not be overlooked. We must go 1-1 for each of the next two weeks, to use James Franklins ridiculous convention.
Penn State enters this game heavily favored, to the tune of four touchdowns, against a MAC opponent with a losing record. The Nittany Lions destroyed their previous MAC opposition, Ohio U, 46-10 in Week Two. PSU and CMU have met but once in the past, in 2005, with Penn State emerging victorious, 40-3.
The Chippewas generate lots of offense, but struggle on defense. To open the season, in a game where if the over/under was 100, you would have scored with the over, they lost to the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12), 58-44. We know there’s no defense in the Big Twelve, so bear that in mind. In that conference, they focus on scoring points and seeing who remains standing after four quarters of mayhem. Then, the Chips bowed to the South Alabama Jaguars (Sun Belt) 38-24, and last week they thrashed the mighty Bucknell Bisons (Patriot) 41-0.
In that highly irrelevant Bucknell game, CMU dominated from start to finish, allowing only 174 total yards by its inferior opponent while racking up 529 of their own. As evidenced by the time of possession favoring the Bisons, the Chippewa scoring drives were quick and deadly — when they finally got going, which took a while. The mistake-filled first half’s only score was a late touchdown by the Chippies, who took a 7-0 lead into the locker room. They farted around until late in the third quarter, when they scored two more touchdowns. Then, they piled up 21 points against a worn out Bucknell defense in the fourth quarter. Final score 41-0. Diagnosis: mutual incompetence.
The first thing that stands out, other than overall incompetence, is the absolutely shitty kicking game exhibited by the Chipsters in the Bucknell game. They used two different place kickers to combine for 0-3 on field goals and 5-6 on PATs. That blows!
I’m too lazy to dig further into this mismatch. I’m a self-designated noonophobe, so I tend to give short shrift to these scheduling afterthoughts.
Fall is here and we’re getting fall weather in Happy Valley. The forecast high for Saturday is 65, with some fog in the morning. Looks like great fall football weather!
Da Bottom Line
Now it’s time for the Nittany Turkey’s Official Turkey Poop Prediction, a dubious weekly feature of this blog. I know you are filled with wonderment over how inaccurate this foul old fowl can be in predicting games for which all of you mind-betters know the outcome (or will say you did ex post facto).
Whither, then, goest Penn State? Forsooth, a win, a palpable win! Yea, verily, the Turkey is predicting a win. But by a veritable mile or by a mouse who squeaketh? (Enough pseudo-Shakespearean bullshit — let’s get on with it!). Penn State favored by 28 with an over/under of 63, which works out to a narrow victory to the tune of PSU 45, CMU 17. But CMU cannot kick field goals, and I think they have only a chance of a late TD when facing the clean jerseys. I’m going with Penn State big. Penn State 56, CMU 6. (That’s a TD with a missed extra point by CMU, not two field goals). Penn State covers, but because it’s right on the mark, I’m staying off the o/u.
I’ll be back after this momentous showdown at high noon to brag about how incorrect my prediction was. Or not.