There’s just one more Friday before Penn State beings its 2014 season. Be sure to check VBR next week for our roundtable predictions for the Croke Park Classic. Each week the staff will get together and bring you thoughts and predictions for the upcoming game.
As for today, the VBR staff debates how many wins head coach James Franklin and the Nittany Lions will get in 2014.
Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr.
This season for Penn State is somewhat tough to predict. While there is a lot of returning experience, there’s also depth issues at key positions such as linebacker and on the offensive line.
As far as the schedule, Penn State has a real chance to head into an October 11th matchup at Michigan with a record of 5-0. The Wolverines will be looking for revenge and should pull out the home victory. The Nittany Lions’ next game is a home matchup with Ohio State. With Braxton Miller sidelined and an excited Beaver Stadium crowd, I see Penn State pulling off the upset.
For the remaining games, the Nittany Lions should be able to come out victorious in the games with Maryland, Temple, Illinois and Indiana. However, a season finale with Michigan State will prove tough.
Penn State has a chance to surprise many people and notch 10 wins this year. Of course, trip-ups against teams like Northwestern and UCF are always possible. The Nittany Lions have a chance to win as many as 10 games if all goes perfect, but in reality, I’m going to predict a final record of 8-4.
Staff Writer Eric Sion
I believe that Penn State will win six games in 2014, thus going 6-6 in James Franklin’s first year in Happy Valley. Call me pessimistic if you want, but I think I’m just being realistic. Major depth issues and a really shaky offensive line will cause Penn State to lose a game or two that they probably shouldn’t. I could see the Nittany Lions possibly pulling off an upset and a relatively easy schedule could help them accumulate seven or eight wins if the ball bounces their way a time or two. But in the end, I think it’ll be six wins for Penn State this season.
Staff Writer Ryan Lance
When I first take a glance at the Penn State schedule for this upcoming year, I’d like to think that there are nine winnable games on the schedule. If this year’s team could win nine games, I think that’d be a tremendous accomplishment given their lack of depth at certain positions and the new schemes they will have to learn and implement. I also know that a few of the wins I am anticipating or hoping for, could easily be losses for this year’s squad. Next weekend’s game is by no means an easy win, as the Nittany Lions will have to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to take on a UCF team that returns sixteen starters from a season ago. The following week the Lions will have to battle jet lag and time changes to take on an Akron team that could play them tough.
With one tough bounce or one good bounce they could very easily finish 9-3 or at worst 7-5. When it’s all said and done I think the Nittany Lions finish the 2014 season at 8-4. If this prediction holds up, I think Nittany Lions fans will be ecstatic and will be excited about the next few year’s in Happy Valley.