Pittsburgh travels for a road game at Penn State in this renewed rivalry that saw Pitt victorious 42-39 last season. Start time 8:30pm
The loss proved costly for the 2016 Big Ten Champs as the blemish was a deciding factor in their absence from the College Football Playoff selection.
Penn State solidified their high ranking in an impressive week 1 win over Akron 52-0. Running back Saquon Barkley looked unstoppable showing off his breakaway speed and ability to break tackles as he racked up 226 total yards. Quarterback Trace McSorley added 280 pass yards and two touchdown connections with tight end Mike Gesicki. The Penn State defense smothered Akron with 14 tackles for loss and held them to 159 yards of total offense.
Last Saturday, Pitt blew a 21-0 first half lead but eventually struggled to an overtime victory against FCS opponent Youngstown State 28-21. The Panthers focused on the run game to move the ball as quarterback Max Browne only compiled 140 yards in the air. The Pitt defense gave up a number of long pass plays allowing YSU to climb back in and send the game to overtime.
Prediction and Betting Advice:
Pitt defeated Penn State in week 2 last season, but this year’s game will have some major differences. Penn State showed vast improvement throughout the 2016 season and will be playing on their home turf this time around. Also, former Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman and running back James Connor who were integral in last year’s win have moved on to the NFL. Penn State is a 21-point favorite and that is a large sum to cover, but they are up to the challenge. I think Penn State controls the game and covers the 21 points in the end.