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Penn State Football vs. Purdue bold predictions

Penn State Football opens the regular season at Purdue, aiming to make a statement, behind a dominant defense and possibly revamped running game.

PJ Mustipher, Penn State Football

Penn State Football defensive tackle PJ Mustipher (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

With Thursday night’s College Football season opener just hours away now, let’s take a look at three bold predictions for Penn State Football in its prime time clash with Purdue.

After finishing with just a .500 record over the past two seasons, the Nittany Lions aim to make a statement against a conference foe to open up the 2022 season.

Here are three Penn State Football bold predictions for the game vs. Purdue

1. The Lions will break their 16 game streak without a 100 yard rusher and it will be freshman Nick Singleton

It is well documented at this point that Penn State Football struggled with their ground game last season. The Lions have not had a 100 yard rusher in 16 straight games dating back to 2020.

Luckily for Penn State Football, its opponent, Purdue, struggled at times against the run last year, allowing over 150 yards per game on the ground.

Although the staff is hesitant to make any promises about the offensive line this year, that unit should be better this fall, especially along the interior. The infusion of freshman running backs Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton has coaches excited about this ground game and the streak will end Thursday Night in West Lafayette.

Singleton emerges as the guy almost immediately, and rushes for over 100 yards, including a 70+ yard touchdown run.

2. Safety Zakee Wheatley makes a game changing interception

All through winter workouts, all through spring practice, and now all through fall camp, the one name that seemingly always popped up was safety Zakee Wheatley.

Wheatley was awarded the takeaway king in both spring and fall camps, and absolutely shined in the spring game in Beaver Stadium earlier this year.

The former cornerback may not be listed as a starter for this one, but will play starter type snaps in the secondary next to Ji’Ayir Brown and will once again, show up, but this time when it matters.

Purdue is going to throw early and often with quarterback Aidan O’Connell and is going to give Penn State opportunities to make plays on the ball.

Wheatley is going to make a game changing or game icing interception similar to Jaquan Brisker last year in Madison week one.

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3. Penn State Football’s defensive line collects 6+ sacks

The last time these two teams met in 2019, the Nittany Lions recorded double digit sacks of the Boilermakers.

It will not be that type of utter dominance this time around, however the Lions are deep along the defensive line and should exploit a rather average Purdue offensive line. Especially if Purdue does drop back to throw it 40-50+ times Thursday night.

The addition of Chop Robinson at defensive end through the portal, Adisa Isaac back from injury, Hakeem Beamon and PJ Mustipher back, there is good reason to be very excited about the Penn State defensive line.

Chop Robinson and Isaac will both record at least a sack, and the Lions group up front is all over O’Connell all night long en route to six plus sacks on the night. The Boilermakers like to take their shots down the field, and will get theirs in the passing game, but ultimately this pass rush and plethora of defensive line will be too much for Purdue up front.

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