By Sean McMahon @Wolfkaosaun
The Penn State Nittany Lions are off to a 2-0 start this season to face the UCF Knights, another team 2-0. So far, Penn State has looked improved and that they are moving in the right direction. UCF isn’t a houehold name, however, their offense is something that Penn State will definitely be paying attention to. This could very well be a trap game for a young, inexperienced defense in Penn State. Can freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg continue to progress as well?
The biggest X factor for today’s game, and possibly the biggest match, could be the Knight’s passing offense against the Nittany Lion’s secondary. Inexperience is mostly abundant in that aspect of Penn State’s defense, besides safety Obeng-Agyapong. The secondary will have to be aware of the possibility that this offense can score quickly. While most people believe that Penn State will run away with this game, it’s the Knight’s offensive weapons that could very well keep them in this game and possibly pull off the upset. The Knight’s quarterback, Blake Bortles, has completed 69.8% of his passes, a stat that Penn State should be aware of.
The Nittany Lions offense also must watch that defense, one that has only given up one touchdown this season. That touchdown was also given in the 4th quarter with under a minute to go, garbage time. So Penn State should be weary not to think they are high and mighty and stick to what has been working for them. Obviously, Allen Robinson is expected to have a big game, but watch the running backs of Penn State, as Bill Belton and Akeel Lynch seem to be coming into their own behind Zach Zwinak. Bill O’Brien’s pro-style offense seems to be improving and growing thus far, showing he can continue to be a quarterback guru in the college leagues.
While this is a trap game, Penn State is still heavily favored and should come out with the victory here. The offense has too many weapons to pick apart the Knight’s defense, while Penn State’s defensive line and linebackers can attack the Knight’s offense. This will also be a great experience and lesson for Penn State’s secondary, along with giving the overall team experience in games that are tougher than they appear on paper. It may be close in the beginning of the game, but expect Penn State to come out with the overall victory.
Final Score Prediction: Penn State 35, UCF 17