Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2) at Northwestern Wildcats (6-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 7, 2015, 12:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -3.5 -- Over/Under:
The Penn State Nittany Lions and Northwestern Wildcats play Saturday at Ryan Field.
The Penn State Nittany Lions look for their first road victory despite winning seven of their last eight games. Christian Hackenberg is completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,787 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. Hackenberg has two or more touchdown passes in three of his last four games. Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton have combined for 1,074 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while Saeed Blacknall has five receptions. The Penn State Nittany Lions ground game is averaging 145.2 yards per contest, and Saquon Barkley leads the way with 716 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, PSU is allowing 17.1 points and 301.8 yards per game. Jason Cabinda leads the Nittany Lions with 68 tackles, Grant Haley has two interceptions and Carl Nassib has 13.5 sacks. Adam Breneman is questionable.
The Northwestern Wildcats look for a nice Big Ten victory after splitting their last four games. Clayton Thorson is completing 52.7 percent of his passes for 1,119 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. Thorson has two touchdown passes in his last four games. Dan Vitale and Christian Jones have combined for 464 receiving yards and four touchdowns while Austin Carr has seven receptions. The Northwestern Wildcats ground game is averaging 186.1 yards per contest, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 731 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Northwestern is allowing 17.6 points and 310.3 yards per game. Anthony Walker leads the Wildcats with 67 tackles, Matthew Harris has three interceptions and Deonte Gibson has five sacks. Austin Carr and Shane Mertz are questionable.
The Nittany Lions are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass. The Wildcats are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on grass and 5-13 ATS in their last 18 home games. The Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Northwestern's defense should give Penn State all sorts of problems, forcing Hackenberg into mistakes. This is going to be a true defensive battle and very low-scoring, but I have more confidence in Northwestern finding a way at home. Wildcats should win by a touchdown.