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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Free Pick 10/5/13

Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1) at Indiana Hoosiers (2-2)

College Football: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Memorial Stadium)

The Line: Indiana Hoosiers +3.5 -- Over/Under: 62 See the Latest Odds


The Penn State Nittany Lions head to Memorial Stadium on Saturday to face off against the Indiana Hoosiers.

The Indiana Hoosiers are sitting at 2-2 this season, and quietly are playing pretty good ball.  Indiana has the eight ranked passing attack in the nation currently, throwing for more than 348 yards per game.  The ground attack is also clicking for the Hoosiers as Indiana is rushing for just under 200 yards per game at 198.8.  All that offense equals points for the Hoosiers, who are scoring 44.5 points per game, giving the Hoosiers the 11th ranked scoring offense in the nation.  The only problem with this team…they can’t stop anyone.  Indiana has the 97th ranked scoring defense currently, allowing 32.8 points per outing.  Last time out, the Hoosiers fell to the Missouri Tigers, 45-28 back on September 21st.  The Hoosiers kept things respectable early on, tying the Hoosiers 14-14 mid way through the second quarter.  After than however, it was all Mizzou.  The Hoosiers defense had no answer for the Tigers offense as Missouri had 623 yards of total offense against Indiana.  The Hoosiers were able to move the ball well against Missouri’s defense, racking up 475 yards on the day, but it was not near enough.  The ground game for the Hoosiers only managed 98 yards, but some of that was due to the fact that Indiana was playing catch-up, and was forced to air it out more.  If Indiana is going to have any shot on Saturday against the Nittany Lions, the Hoosiers need to hang with Penn State early on, allowing them to use their full playbook and remain balanced offensively.

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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Free Pick 10/5/13

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions are sitting at 3-1 this season, after taking apart the Kent State Golden Flashes in their last outing on September 21st.  The Nittany Lions are a very solid team, focused around their young quarterback and a solid defense.  Currently the Nittany Lions are ranked 13th in the nation in points allowed per game, averaging just 14.5.  Freshman quarterback Hackenberg is playing well for Penn State, as he is completing over 62 percent of his passes on the year for 1027 yards and five scores.  The Nittany Lions (as evident by the score) had little to no trouble with Kent State two weekends ago.  Penn State outgained the Golden Flashes 463 – 90 on the day.  The score was only 14-0 at the break, but watching this one you could just tell that Kent State was done already.  The key to this offense is giving Hackenberg time, and the way the Nittany Lions are doing that is on the ground.  Against the Golden Flashes the Nittany Lions rushed for 287 yards on the day, and granted that was just the Penn State line pushing around the Kent State front, but even on the season the Nittany Lions are averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground.  Look for Penn State to try and keep things grounded against the Hoosiers on Saturday, hopefully taking the crowd out of the game somewhat, and keeping that explosive Indiana offense on the sideline.

In their last nine road games, the Nittany Lions are a solid 6-3 against the spread.  So far this season Penn State is 2-2 against the number.  The Hoosiers are 2-2 against the spread this season, and are 9-7 against the spread at home the past three seasons.

I’m taking the under here.  The Hoosiers sure don’t have a strong defense, and Indiana can score at will, which is all the more reason I think the Nittany Lions try and ground this one out.  Penn State is already rushing the ball 54 percent of the time this season, and against a weak defensive front, the Nittany Lions will likely continue that trend here on Saturday.  The Hoosiers will get theirs, and there will be plenty of scoring, but this number looks a bit too high as I figure this one topping off right around the 58 point mark.  

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