Penn State Football vs. Purdue pick, predictions

Penn State Football
Penn State Football QB Sean Clifford (14) throws a pass from the pocket during the Purdue Boilermakers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions game October 5, 2019 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

It’s time.

Penn State Football kicks off the 2022 College Football Season in prime time, on Thursday night, Sept. 1 in a Big Ten crossover clash against the Purdue Boilermakers.

The Nittany Lions enter the contest as 3.5-point road favorites, as James Franklin’s team opens the season against a conference opponent away from the friendly confines of Beaver Stadium for the third consecutive season.

As the Penn State Football opener looms, here are our staff predictions for the game

L.J. Santa Maria – Nittany Central Lead Football Writer

West Lafayette will be blacked out and should be full throat for this one, an opportunity for Purdue to have a moment on national television and upset the Nittany Lions.

Penn State Football will reap the advantage of having an experienced quarterback in Sean Clifford to manage the hostile road environment. The offense should move the ball at will and expect Zakee Wheatley to make a big play in this one. 

Penn State 31, Purdue 20

David Malandra Jr. – Nittany Central Football Writer

What a way to start the season, than with a conference opener.

I can’t think of a better way to let out some aggression from the Lions’ Outback Bowl loss, than a trip to Purdue. Sean Clifford will have 300 yards passing with three touchdowns, and Manny Diaz’s Defense will have a pick-six by Joey Porter Jr.

Pick: Penn State Football 31, Purdue 13 

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Derek Brynildsen – Nittany Central Lead Football Recruiting Writer

Opening the season on the road in a hostile environment is going to be a massive test for a program looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 campaign.

I think Penn State Football has the secondary to slow down Aiden O’Connell and Purdue’s air-raid offense.

John Scott’s unit should be able to create havoc on Jeff Brohm’s game plan as well. Offensively, it’s going to come down to the offensive line.

Purdue’s secondary isn’t great, so if Clifford stays upright it should be a very good showing for the passing game.

I’m firmly on the Nick Singleton & Kaytron Allen hype train. If Penn State’s O-Line can open up some running lanes to keep the Boilermaker’s defense honest, I believe the Nittany Lions could run away with this one. The talent gap is very real in this matchup.

Penn State Football 38, Purdue 24. 

Patrick Sweda – Nittany Central Writer

Penn State Football once again opens the season in conference play with a quality opponent.

The Boilermakers made a bowl game in each of the first two seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm, and while being down during 2019 and the covid 2020 season, they bounced back in a big way finishing 9-4 in 2021.

Last season was the most wins for the Boilermakers since the 2003 season and was capped with an exciting win over Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.

The Nittany Lions will have to deal with the return of star quarterback Aiden O’Connell who threw for 3,712 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 12 games last season.

In addition to their solid quarterback, the Boilermakers defense only allowed 22.4 ppg last season good for 34th in the nation. Purdue doesn’t run the ball particularly well and turn the passing game often, which is good, because the Penn State Football secondary is the strength of their defense.

Purdue is already planning a blackout for the game, something Ohio State didn’t handle particularly well in 2018.

How the young Nittany Lion starters handle the tough environment, and the play of Sean Clifford will decide the direction of this game. Sports books only have the Nittany Lions as 3-point favorites and I agree with them and expect this one to be a close one.

Prediction: Penn State Football 38, Purdue 35

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