Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Northwestern Wildcats CFB Pick, Odds, Prediction - 9/27/14
Northwestern Wildcats (1-2) at Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Beaver Stadium)
The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions -11 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Northwestern Wildcats and Penn State Nittany Lions square off Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
The Northwestern Wildcats picked up their first win last week against Western Illinois and could use a big upset here to really get their season back on track. In order to do so, Northwestern must figure out how to get production out of an offense that is averaging just 21 points per game. The Wildcats are averaging just three yards per carry and quarterback Trevor Siemian is completing just 59.1 percent of his passes and has three interceptions to two touchdowns. Freshman Justin Jackson has been the lone bright spot for Northwestern’s offense, as he’s scored a touchdown in two of the first three games and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Still, overall Northwestern is missing key playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, the Northwestern Wildcats are allowing 397 yards per game and have forced six turnovers and eight sacks. Chi Chi Ariguzo leads Northwestern with 28 tackles and Deonte Gibson has three tackles for loss.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are 4-0 and starting to look like they could make a run for a Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions strength has been their defense that is allowing just 11 points and 270.8 yards per game. Penn State has also produced 12 sacks and seven turnovers. Mike Hull leads the Nittany Lions with 37 tackles and Anthony Zettel has seven tackles for loss. Offensively, Christian Hackenberg has thrown for over 1,200 yards and has clearly shown he’s one of the better young quarterbacks in the country, but he must limit his five interceptions entering conference play. And while Penn State is lacking a strong running game, a combination of Bill Belton, Akeel Lynch and Zach Zwinak has produced seven touchdowns. The Nittany Lions are playing with a purpose now that they’re eligible for a bowl game.
The Wildcats are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 conference games and 1-12 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Nittany Lions are 7-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games. The Wildcats are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Penn State.
Penn State is by far the better team in this matchup, and Northwestern would be lucky to score 10 points against the Nittany Lions defense here. These are just two teams heading in different directions. Expect the Nittany Lions to win by at least two touchdowns.