Featured by: David Luang
Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2 SU, 8-3-1 ATS, 9-3 O/U) at Wisconsin Badgers (10-2 SU, 9-2-1 ATS, 5-7 O/U)
Saturday Dec. 3rd, 8pm EST
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Line: Wisconsin -3
The Penn State Nittany Lions, out of the Big 10 East, will take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big 10 Championship. Penn State looks to win their first conference title since the 2008 season and hopes are high for Penn State to return to the top of college football like their glory days. The biggest question surrounding the Nittany Lions entering tonight’s matchup is whether or not Saquon Barkley will play?
Barkley left Penn State’s last game vs Michigan State with a sprained ankle and he could be a game time decision. Barkley has rushed for 1,219 yards (5.3 yards per attempt) and 15 TDs and has been a huge part of their success. However, the Nittany Lions are not as one dimensional as they have been in the past. Junior QB Trace McSorley is a big reason Penn State is 10-2. He’s thrown for 2,976 yards with 21 TDs and just five picks. Penn State’s defense has been consistent this season as they’ve allowed just 346.8 yards overall to rank 20th in the nation and just 200.5 passing yards per game.
After back-to-back losses to Michigan and Ohio State, many experts wrote off the Badgers to make any noise in the Big 10. Wisconsin has earned their respect this season after rattling off 6 straight wins to close out the regular season. The Wisconsin Badgers look for their fourth conference title since the 2010 CFB season.
The Badgers will not wow you on offense and they are employing two quarterbacks in redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook and senior Bart Houston. Hornibrook's output is 1,243 yards and eight touchdowns against seven interceptions, while Houston has 912 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. As a team, the Badgers rank 66th averaging 28.5 PPG. This team is not built around their offense but it’s their defense that is one of the best in the country.
Wisconsin’s defense has been stout all season and they rank 3rd in the nation allowing just 100 rushing YPG and 3rd in the country allowing just 13.7 PPG. Wisconsin’s secondary ranks 1st in the nation in interceptions and 7th allowing just 292 total yards per game. They are one of the best defensive units in the country and they will make Penn State earn their yards.
This is a very tough game to handicap as both defenses are very good and while Wisconsin has the defensive edge, the Nittany Lions have the edge on offense. This game should be a low scoring, old school, Big 10 battle. I feel that something special has been brewing at State College and the momentum they have entering this game is dangerous. Field position will be critical in this game and see this matchup going Under 46.5 with a defensive battle taking centerstage.
Penn State vs Wisconsin Big 10 Prediction: Under 46.5
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