Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Coming into the 2013 season the Indiana Hoosiers were 0-16 against the Nittany Lions all-time. Well, after a monumental 44-24 victory, the Hoosiers have gotten off the mat against one of the big boys in the Big Ten. Indiana will now look to make it two in a row versus the Lions when Penn State comes back to Bloomington for the second consecutive year.
Week 11: Penn State Nittany Lions
Time & Date: TBA, Saturday, Nov. 8th
Venue: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN)
Nittany Lions at a Glance:
Head Coach: James Franklin 1st year at PSU 4th year overall (24-15)
Last Season: 7-5 (4-4)
Nittany Lions Returning Leaders:
Passing: Christian Hackenberg (58.9%, 2955 Yds, 20 TD, 10 INT)
Rushing: Zach Zwinak (989 Yds, 4.7 Avg, 12 TD)
Receiving: Jesse James (333 Yds, 13.3 Avg, 3 TD)
Preseason Magazine Predictions:
Phil Steele: 4th in the Big Ten East
Lindy’s: 4th in the Big Ten East
Athlon’s: 3rd in the Big Ten East
Sporting News: 4th in the Big Ten East
Why the Nittany Lions could win:
Last year’s game could be called a little fluky by some. Sure the Hoosiers won by 20 points, but that was after Penn State botched a snap on a field goal for a loss of 31 yards and had a kick blocked going into halftime. However, this is not last year’s Penn State team. Gone is Bill O’Brien and in comes James Franklin. All-Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg is back and with a year under his belt should be poised for a record-breaking year. Hackenberg did throw for 340 yards and three scores against the Hoosiers last year in the rain. Indiana also cannot count on Penn State making the mistakes they did in 2013. These Nittany Lions want some revenge and will not over look the Hoosiers this season.
Why They Won’t Pull it Off:
The stigma that the Hoosiers just cannot beat the Nittany Lions is over. Indiana now believes they can beat a blue blood program in the conference. Penn State is still fighting depth issues that were caused by the NCAA sanctions handed down a few years ago. This could prove to be the downfall of a pretty talented team, as the Hoosiers love to push the tempo and will push the Lion’s conditioning to the limit. Penn State also loses All-Big Ten receiver Allen Robinson along with three starters on the offensive line.
This is a very winnable home game late in the season for the Hoosiers. There may even be a bowl bid on the line. Indiana finally got the monkey off their back last season after going 0-16. The Nittany Lions are a very talented team, but a coaching change and another postseasonless year could throw a wrench into the team reaching their true potential. No doubt that the Hoosiers caught all of the breaks last season, but Penn State just did not have the manpower to shut down the offense. Once again special teams could play a major role in determining the outcome of this contest. Last year the Nittany Lions botched a snap on one field goal, had another one blocked, and fumbled on a kick off return that lead to a Hoosier score. Look for another very competitive game between two teams whose offenses can go toe-to-toe.