No. 7 Penn State Football opens the 2023 College Football season in style, as quarterback Drew Allar, linebacker Abdul Carter, and the Nittany Lions host West Virginia at 7:30 p.m. inside what is bound to be a raucous Beaver Stadium.
As the new season begins, here’s a look at how we expect the opener to play out.
Penn State Football vs. West Virginia Staff Picks, Predictions
Robert Casturo, Senior Penn State Football Reporter
I think this game could be close at half before Penn State pulls away in the second half for a comfortable win. There’s a chance that the offense could start slow with a new quarterback and first game nerves. I have Penn State barely covering the 20.5 point spread, and winning handily by the end.
Penn State 38 – West Virginia 17
Alec Whitaker, Senior Penn State Football Recruiting Insider
West Virginia is coming off a rough 5-7 season in which the Mountaineers gave up over 30 points a game.
The front seven in the defense also lost its best two players with Dante Stills off to the NFL and Jordan Jefferson transferred to LSU. On offense, WVU does return all five offensive line starters from last season and running back C.J. Donaldson, who had a breakout freshman season in 2022.
The Nittany Lions will be breaking in new starting quarterback Drew Allar, so there may be some growing pains there, but he has an elite run game to rely on. Penn State will try to exploit West Virginia’s defensive line and have running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen carry them to victory.
The Mountaineers run game will be a good test for the Penn State defense, but if WVU falls behind, it will have to abandon that plan.
Week 1 under the lights in Beaver Stadium, good luck Mountaineers.
Penn State 35 – West Virginia 13
Nolan Foster, Penn State Football Reporter
First game under the lights. Home opener against an out of conference opponent. Penn State takes care of business convincingly.
Penn State 45 – West Virginia 17
Joe Staszak, Penn State Football Reporter
Could this be the year The Big Ten sends three teams to the College Football playoff?
The Nits are loaded on both lines with a five star quarterback at the helm. They’re playing a team the media picked to finish last of 14 teams in the Big 12.
It might not be a white-out in Happy Valley Saturday night, but I think you can count on a blow-out at least. Lions roll and cover by three touchdowns.
Penn State 41 – West Virginia 20.
Danny Friedman, Penn State Football Reporter
Penn State Football is going to start the year in style with a statement win on both sides of the ball.
Look for the Nittany Lions to set the tempo early with the pass game. Look for 300 yards and 3 TDs for Drew Allar to kickoff his Heisman hopeful campaign. The Penn State Defense causes at least 2 turnovers and gets 4 sacks. Look for Penn State to cruise Saturday night.
Penn State 38 – West Virginia 21
Alex Schaffer, Penn State Football Reporter
Penn State Football separates itself in the second half, and never look back. Nittany Lions roll in Week 1.
Penn State 41 – West Virginia 17
Chris Snyder, Senior Penn State Wrestling Reporter
West Virginia doesn’t play much defense, their offense is middle of the pack, and it’s going up against one of the nation’s toughest defenses.
And before you counter with “But Chris, this is last year’s stats. This has nothing to do with the WVU team for this year!!.”
The last time I checked, Neal Brown is still the coach at West Virginia. And in his prior four years there, the Mountaineers have yet to play a lick of defense, their offense has been inconsistent, and WVU is 22-25.
I highly doubt anything massive is going to change here.
The game won’t be amazing, there will be sloppy play at times, but Penn State will be 1-0. And that’s all that matters.
Penn State 33, West Virginia 10
Evan Smith, Senior Penn State Basketball Reporter:
The ceiling is high for the 2023 Nittany Lion football team and rightly so. But, it simply comes down to the quarterback position and despite the raucous home environment, it wouldn’t be surprising if he coughs up the ball once in the first half. I could even see Penn State losing at the half, but eventually the cream rises to the top.
Penn State 31 – West Virginia 13