Penn State vs. Pitt: No. 13 Penn State and Pitt continue their long-time rivalry on Saturday in Happy Valley. This year’s meeting will be the 100th time they’ve met on the gridiron, and it’s also the fourth-straight season in which they’ve played following a (too long) layoff from 2001-15. Penn State has won each of the last two meetings, crushing Pitt 51-6 last season a year after the Nittany Lions won 33-14 at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State vs. Pitt Live:
Date: Saturday, Sept. 14 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Beaver Stadium — University Park, Pennsylvania
TV: ABC | Live stream: 247sportstv.com
With such an embarrassing loss at home in last season, the Panthers would love for nothing more on Saturday than to head out to central Pennsylvania and exact some revenge on the Nittany Lions. But will they get it done? That’s what we’re here to find out. Click here for additional.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions enter this game with a record of 2-0, but it’s hard to know what to think since those wins have come against Idaho and Buffalo. Last week the Lions trailed Buffalo at halftime before exploding for 38 points in the second half. Sean Clifford has looked solid at QB as he replaces Trace McSorley, throwing for 559 yards and six touchdowns through two games. Clifford is tied for the team lead in rushing yards as well with 108, but I’m not sure that’s what the Nittany Lions are looking for. As a team, Penn State managed only 78 yards on 24 carries against Buffalo last week. They didn’t pay for it then, but as the schedule becomes more difficult, that kind of performance won’t be good enough.
Pitt: The Panthers hit the road for the first time this season after splitting their first two games of the season at home. They lost their season-opener to Virginia 30-14 before bouncing back with a 20-10 win over Ohio last week. The problem for Pitt so far this season has been an offense that hasn’t shown much consistency. While the defense is holding opponents to 4.24 yards per play (27th nationally), the offense is averaging only 5.13 yards per play (101st). Defense is important, but it’s hard to win games if your offense isn’t moving the ball and putting up points.
Game prediction, picks
It’s hard to get past that hook. I don’t like Pitt’s odds of pulling off the upset here because, as mentioned above, I don’t have a lot of faith in its offense. I do think the Panthers present a tough matchup for the Penn State rushing attack, however, which should help keep them close enough to cover a large spread here. Pick: Pitt (+17.5)