Northwestern vs Penn State Prediction NCAAF Picks 9/30
- Lm Tipster
- Sep 29, 2023, 11:36:34 PM
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK
Penn State vs. Northwestern: College Football Preview
Prepare for an exciting clash in Big Ten football as the No. 6-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) get ready to face the Northwestern Wildcats (2-2, 1-1) in Evanston, IL. Kickoff is set for 9:00 AM, and this game promises an abundance of action and drama.
Penn State Nittany Lions' Offensive Dominance
The Nittany Lions have displayed an impressive offensive prowess, with their lowest scoring game this season being 31 points. This is a testament to the offensive excellence of the team under head coach James Franklin. They lead the nation in scoring, averaging 31.3 points per game, and accumulate an impressive 449.8 total yards per game (ranking 8th nationally).
Quarterback D. Allar, with 903 passing yards and 8 touchdowns, has been exceptional. Their passing game is formidable, averaging 239.8 yards per game, while their rushing attack, led by K. Allen with 280 yards, contributes 210.0 yards per contest. In the competitive Big Ten, this offense has shone, contributing to a 2-0 start in conference play.
While Penn State's offense dazzles, their defense stands strong. They have allowed an average of only 219.5 yards per game and have held their opponents in check. Their pass defense has been particularly impressive, allowing just 138.0 passing yards per game. Penn State's defensive prowess was evident in their shutout victory against Iowa, where they held the Hawkeyes to zero points.
Conversely, Northwestern is coming off a challenging defeat against Oregon, where they managed just six points, and those came in garbage time. Their rushing game averages a mere 55.8 yards per game, ranking among the lowest nationally. The responsibility falls on QB Shedeur Sanders to maintain his impressive passing record of over 350 yards per game with a completion rate of 76.9%.
However, Northwestern faces challenges due to the absence of key players like Travis Hunter and Xavier Weaver, affecting their receiving options. Moreover, their pass protection has been problematic, allowing 23 sacks, the second-most in the nation.
Defensive Struggles for Northwestern
Northwestern's defense raises concerns, especially with injuries to key players like Travis Hunter and two questionable safeties, Myles Slusher and Shilo Sanders. Facing Penn State's high-scoring offense, which leads the nation in scoring, is a daunting task. The Wildcats currently concede 33.3 points and 475.8 yards per game, ranking among the bottom in the Big Ten. Although they have secured seven interceptions, their secondary is thin, and they surrender an average of 206.5 rushing yards per game.
This week's game could be a long and arduous challenge for Northwestern's defense.