Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (0-0)
September 1, 2022 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Purdue Boilermakers +3.5 / Penn State Nittany Lions -3.5; Over/Under: 54.5
(Get latest betting odds)
The Purdue Boilermakers and Penn State Nittany Lions clash Thursday in week 1 of Big Ten college football action at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Penn State Nittany Lions won 7 games last year and enter the ninth season under coach James Franklin. The Purdue Boilermakers are coming off a 9-win season and enter year 6 under coach Jeff Brohm.
The Penn State Nittany Lions averaged 25 points and 376.5 yards per game last season. Penn State allowed an average of 17.3 points and 353.6 yards per game last season. Sean Clifford returns at quarterback after throwing for 3,100 yards, 21 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith is a returning receiving duo that combined 1,300 yards and 7 touchdowns, while Keyvone Lee led the Nittany Lions with 500 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensively, Ji’Ayir Brown returns after finishing third on Penn State with 74 tackles, Smith Vilbert had 3 sacks and Daequan Hardy had 2 interceptions. Penn State has a chance to be one of the best offenses in the Big Ten with its returning production and Clifford at quarterback. However, an excellent Nittany Lions defense does have to replace their top-two tacklers in Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith at linebacker, which could take some time.
The Purdue Boilermakers averaged 29.1 points and 439.1 yards per game last season. Purdue allowed an average of 22.4 points and 365.2 yards per game last season. Aidan O’Connell returns at quarterback after throwing for 3,700 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Milton Wright and Payne Durham are a returning receiving duo that combined 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns, while King Doerue led the Boilermakers with 500 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Defensively, Kieren Douglas returns after finishing third on Purdue with 67 tackles, Kydran Jenkins had 5 sacks and Cam Allen had 4 interceptions. Like Penn State, Purdue has an experienced and proven quarterback and several key offensive playmakers despite losing receiver David Bell. Purdue also has a chance to be improved defensively and Jenkins could become one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten after a strong freshman year with 5 sacks, 8 tackles for loss and 35 tackles.
The Nittany Lions are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 conference games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games in September. The Boilermakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The under is 6-1 in Nittany Lions last 7 games overall. The over is 4-1 in Boilermakers last 5 games overall. The Nittany Lions are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Purdue.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are getting all the hype in this game because of their returning starters and their name brand. Many believe this is going to be a big year for the Nittany Lions. However, the Purdue Boilermakers have been an improved program over the last few years and the talent level has improved. O’Connell is far from a pushover, and the Boilermakers defense could surprise some folks. This is a big opening contest, and it can be tough to start the season in a tough environment. Purdue should be up to the ask to make this thing competitive. I’ll take a shot with the home dog in a big, big Thursday night spot.