Penn State Football: Predictions for the Nittany Lions against Georgia State


All signs appear to favor Penn State football this weekend against Georgia State.

Penn State will take the field Saturday night for its third consecutive home game to start the 2017 season. After beating up on non-conference opponents Akron and Pittsburgh, the Nittany Lions welcome Georgia State out of the Sun Belt Conference.
The matchup will mark the first ever between the two schools. Georgia State had last week off after falling to Tennessee State 17-10 during the first week of the season.

Saturday’s game is a mismatch in every sense of the word. The Nittany Lions feature one of the most potent offenses in all of college football, along with a defense that’s allowed just one touchdown in eight quarters so far this season.

This week our staff tries to predict what will happen when the Nittany Lions and the Panthers meet under the bright lights of Beaver Stadium. Spoiler Alert: This one likely won’t be a nail-biter.

Barry Leonard, Co-Site Expert

The Nittany Lions will need to be sharp in this one to avoid a major upset. Wait, who am I kidding? Penn State struggled last week and still defeated Pitt by 19 points. This week won’t be a test. In fact, just like Week 1 versus Akron, don’t expect to see the starters past the third quarter. Actually, I’d look for them to be out just after halftime.

Trace McSorley was off on a lot of his throws last week, but I expect that he watched film all week and will have things worked out. Saquon Barkley, who was bottled up for the most part against Pitt, will look to pad his Heisman resume in a very favorable matchup.

Between returning kicks, running and catching the ball, I’m expecting Barkley to rack up well over 200 total yards and at least two touchdowns. I also see tight end Mike Gesicki catching another two touchdowns.

The Penn State defense has allowed just one touchdown in eight quarters and shut out Akron in Week 1. Defensive coordinator Brent Pry will have his troops ready, and I see another blanking in the books.

Penn State wins as expected.

Penn State 55
Georgia State 0

Collin Wieder, Co-Site Expert

Don’t worry Penn State faithful last week was an aberration. The offense went through its struggles and should return to its high-flying form. Trace McSorley had an uncharacteristic start, but his track record makes me believe he’ll be fine.

Mike Gesicki’s red zone ability is becoming an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. McSorley should find him for another score, and around 250 yards passing on the day. Juwan Johnson and DaeSean Hamilton will have better days as well.

Saquon Barkley and the running game will gain at least 150 yards and gash that Panthers’ defense. I wouldn’t put it past McSorley to find him for another score out of the backfield as well.

Defensively, the D-Line and secondary swarmed, and it should be no different this week. Another interception will be recorded by the secondary, and Shareef Miller looks to add another sack as well. Nittany Lions all over this one.

Penn State 52

Georgia State 7

Shane Lunnen, Contributor

The Nittany Lions did not play a complete game last Saturday against Pitt and still won comfortably by 19 points. They welcome Georgia State to Beaver Stadium this Saturday.

This game could be a good game to get the kinks worked out of the offense before conference play begins the following week. Keep in mind this is only Georgia State’s fifth year at the FBS level and eighth year with a football program in total. The Panthers are still in the infancy stage as a program.

Coming to Beaver Stadium to play in a primetime game on Big Ten Network will be an experience for the Panther players. A game like this creates exposure for a young program.
With that said, the Panthers are going to give 100% effort and not just roll over. They will come to play, however Penn State just has too much talent to handle. Expect the Lions to work on a few things on the offensive side of the ball and this game could get out of hand similar to Akron. Saquon Barkley will get a lot of yards but not too many carries in this one. Hopefully Trace McSorley will find his rhythm again that was lacking last Saturday. Also hoping for the Lions to escape with no injuries. Penn State should roll here and get some of the backups extended playing time.

Penn State 49
Georgia State 7

Joe Ciminera, Contributor

Last week, Penn State’s offense was not the well-oiled machine we had become accustomed to seeing. While they probably earned a B grade, the national media failed them out of school. Fuel to the fire.

Shawn Elliott, Georgia State’s head coach and South Carolina’s former defensive coordinator, has had an extra week to prepare for Penn State, but it might not matter too much. While he will have his boys ready to go under the Beaver Stadium lights, Penn State has something to prove.

Saquan Barkley is good for 150 yards and a touchdown even if he sleepwalked through the game. It is Trace McSorley, who wasn’t exactly sharp against Pitt, that Penn State fans will want to see dominate.

McSorley is going to hit so many home runs this game you’re going to think he’s Rhys Hoskins. He is a competitor if ever there was one, and he will be ready to roll come Saturday.

Shareef Miller will be introducing himself to a new quarterback as he builds on his stellar performance from last week, and the Penn State secondary will be lights out.

I like Penn State to make a statement in this one.

Penn State 63
Georgia State 0

Corey Hunter, Contributor

The Georgia State Panthers come charging into Beaver Stadium this weekend. They are reportedly being paid $1.2 million to play this night game against Penn State.

The fledgling Panthers football program has only been in existence for eight years – and only been an FBS team for 5 years. This is truly a David-vs-Goliath affair.

We all know Penn State is playing against a team where they could sleep-walk and still win by 20-25 points, but that’s not the point.

Saturday’s glorified scrimmage is the Lions last tune up before the start of the Big Ten slate where there are virtually no weeks off. It’s also a chance for pollsters see Penn State’s Heisman duo of Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley perform on national television.

So, while I expect the Lions to pound Georgia State into submission, they better not waste the chance to hone their game skills because they are going need to have them at the ready very soon.

Look for Barkley to have 250+ all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. I expect McSorely will be over his Pittsburgh jitters and will have a solid outing with nearly 300 yards passing and three touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see the defense grab at least three interceptions this week, too.

Penn State – 56
Georgia State – 3