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This Thursday, the Nittany Lions travel to the college where every member of your high school robotics team went, Purdue. After a great start to last season, things fell apart for Penn State worse than the fake Chinese Chris Paul jersey I bought a few years ago. Here’s the thing last year’s record doesn’t indicate: every loss was a dog fight (and no, that’s not a reference to a QB that spent a significant amount of time playing for an NFL team also in PA). I think this is the year Penn State gets its swagger back. The addition of Manny Diaz as a defensive coordinator is a good one- I think this is a team that sees much-needed improvement on its front seven and more turnovers from its backfield. On offense, Penn State needs to do a better job running the ball, plain and simple. A team that boasts alums like Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, and Larry Johnson cannot average three yards per carry.
Purdue was the most bipolar team in the Big 10 last year. They lost some games they should have won, they won some games they definitely should have lost, and they ended up winning an incredible bowl game against Tennessee. Aidan O’Connell is one hell of a quarterback, but Penn State’s defense is far superior to the Boilermakers. Purdue also lost many of their top receivers, so their season rests mainly on O’Connell’s arm, which is a massive ask for a guy they didn’t even have the confidence to call their starting quarterback a year ago. The Nittany Lions are favored by three and a half, and I love it. They are a much more well-rounded team, with a slightly less talented QB. We saw what happened in the pros with Matt Stafford last year. If your QB has limited weapons, he can only do so much. Take Penn State and take your free $200 from DraftKings!