Predictions - Wisconsin vs. No.21 Penn State

Predictions - Wisconsin vs. No.21 Penn State

Football

Predictions - Wisconsin vs. No.21 Penn State

Making its first trip to State College since 2012, Wisconsin (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) looks to keep its faint Big Ten West title hopes alive when it plays No.21 Penn State (6-3, 3-3) Saturday morning at Beaver Stadium. The Badgers Insider Staff gives our game and a score prediction for the matchup.

Brian Becker – Wisconsin 27, Penn State 21

Wisconsin’s defense is going to need to be able to create pressure against Trace McSorley to make sure that he can’t extend plays, as he is at his best when he’s able to move around. McSorley likely won’t be as mobile as he’s used to being with the right knee injury he suffered two weeks ago, which should give Wisconsin’s defense the chance of registering a sack. Penn State is allowing three sacks per Big Ten game so the opportunities will be there for linebackers T.J. Edwards, Ryan Connelly and Andrew Van Ginkel. Edwards leads the trio with three sacks but he hasn’t registered one since the Michigan game. If Wisconsin can consistently create pressure, it should limit a Nittany Lions’ offense that is only averaging 26:41 in time of possession in their six Big Ten games.

Offensively, Wisconsin will continue to run the football and test a Penn State rush defense. Allowing 184.2 rushing yards in Big Ten play, Penn State has allowed over 200 rushing in its last three games, including a season-high 259 yards on 52 carries in a 42-7 loss at Michigan last week. If Wisconsin can produce similar results, the Badgers won’t need to rely heavily on their passing game to make the big play.

Due to Wisconsin getting the rushing attack back on track last week, McSorley not being at full health and with Penn State’s recent struggles in the run game, the Badgers snap their current losing streak to Penn State and win for the first time in Happy Valley since 2003.

Becker’s Record: 7-2

Billy Hirschfeld – Penn State 35, Wisconsin 10

Due to the injuries suffered by the Badgers in the recent weeks, this game will be a difficult one. The defense will have to rely on its young players to defend the end zone against an experienced quarterback and offense, which may prove to be too much for the young defense. Offensively, this would have to be a game where Wisconsin needs to be able to run and pass the ball effectively in order to keep the game close. But I think at the end of the game, Penn State will come out on top.

Hirschfeld’s Record: 6-3

Logan Samp – Penn State 27, Wisconsin 21

Who knows with this Badgers team anymore? The quarterback situation is cloudy and the team is inconsistent, so it’s tough to try to predict what will happen. One thing I do know is this is a game was one circled on the calendar before the season started. This had the potential to be a big one but both teams have underachieved. Trace McSorely is a talented player but the Penn State offense the past few weeks has been stagnant, which is also a good word to describe UW as a team. I think it comes down to a couple of plays, and Penn State with the home crowd edges it out in the fourth quarter.

Samp’s Record: 7-2

Benjamin Worgull – Penn State 24, Wisconsin 14

Two schools that have failed to reach preseason expectations bring in struggling offenses to Beaver Stadium. Penn State’s offense is 80th nationally in passing offense, 110th in third-down offense and have a quarterback who is playing through an injury right knee, which takes some of the zone-read capabilities out the arsenal. Wisconsin will likely start its No.2 quarterback Jack Coan for the second time in three weeks. The first glance of that offense two weeks ago wasn’t very appealing. Jonathan Taylor can take advantage of a shaking Penn State run defense, but can he do it with the Nittany Lions load the box because UW is struggling to throw the football?

This one has the feeling of an ugly, defensive-minded game. I think the Badgers will hang around longer than people expect them to, but they will ultimately fail to cover the 9-point spread.

Worgull’s Record: 7-2

Worgull’s Record vs. spread: 5-4

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