Grace Harmon, senior sports editor: Nebraska 9, Penn State 52
Going into its matchup with Minnesota, Nebraska was a two-point underdog. The Huskers then proceeded to get blasted by 33 points. Going into Penn State, the Huskers open as a 24-point underdog, so this week is bound to have an ugly final score.
Here’s a few more comparisons to take note of as the Huskers prepare for their road game in Happy Valley: Nebraska’s defense allowed the Gophers to rack up 514 yards of total offense and Minnesota’s offense was No. 119 in the nation. Penn State on the other hand, has the No. 40 offense in the country, so take from that what you will.
Another thing to note going into this matchup is simply the most obvious thing to look at. The two teams’ rankings and records. Penn State has a record of 8-2 and is sitting at No. 13 in the nation. Before decimating Nebraska on Saturday, Minnesota was sitting at 4-5 on the season, and well, it’s ranking isn’t worth mentioning.
Penn State is also averaging 429.6 yards, and 37.7 points-per-game. On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lions, are only giving up 318.3 yards and 13.9 points-per-game. All these are key components to take note of heading into Nebraska’s second-to-last game of the season.
While I could continue to spew off statistics, my point is that if Nebraska plays how it has all season, the game could be nothing short of a bloodbath.
The Huskers aren’t playing with heart and look like a team who would rather be anywhere else than on the football field. At 4-6 on the season, it seems like they just want it to be over.
Despite the vast spread of points I’m predicting for Saturday, I am, however, also predicting the Huskers’ to score nine points, all courtesy of Nebraska’s most consistent player, Drew Brown.
While I might seem a little cynical this week, I am also fairly confident my views on the upcoming game reflect a large portion of Husker nation. Buckle up, Nebraska fans. You’re in for another ugly game.
Zach Markon, assistant sports editor: Nebraska 9, Penn State 66
I’m only confident in one thing regarding the Huskers’ Saturday matchup in Happy Valley. Drew Brown is going to be Nebraska’s leading — and possibly only — scorer.
Against an offense that is ranked No. 40 in the country, the Huskers frankly don’t stand a chance. It’s as simple as that. The Blackshirts’ performance hasn’t just been poor, it’s been embarrassing. Embarrassing for the players, embarrassing for the coaches and embarrassing for Husker fans everywhere. Nebraska has given up an average of 414.3 yards-per-game this season, including 514 yards against Minnesota last weekend and 633 yards against Ohio State on Oct. 14. The Blackshirts look like a group of players that have given up.
The offense is in a slightly better place. Tanner Lee had a solid first half against the Gophers, posting 174 yards and a 0.722 completion percentage. Patrick O’Brien didn’t do much worse, posting 137 yards in the second half and completing 12-of-18 passes. O’Brien achieved those stats despite his offensive line allowing him to be sacked by the Gophers six times in just 30 minutes of play.
So while the Huskers’ offense is better than its defense, neither is anywhere near close enough to be a competitive force against the Nittany Lions.
I’m not optimistic that NU will make it into the end zone even once on Saturday. Rather, I think Drew Brown better make sure his leg is warmed up at all times because he’s going to be using it a lot.
I expect this to be a truly painful game to watch. It’s going to be an uphill battle from the opening kickoff, and I’m pretty confident the Huskers aren’t going to make it up that hill.
Anna Gleason, assistant sports editor: Nebraska 6, Penn State 56
I’m no longer excited for Husker football. At all. At this point, I don’t even know if I’m looking forward to next season.
The Huskers defense crumbled against one of the worst offenses in college football, and the offense couldn’t capitalize on anything. Pair that with how Penn State has been playing for the past few years, and there’s another bad weekend ahead for Nebraska.
Penn State’s team as a whole is a thousand times better than the Huskers. Its offense consistently puts up points, and its defense is just as reliable. To say that Nebraska will be challenged this weekend is an understatement.
I doubt they’ll get all the way to the end zone even once this weekend so the Husker’s best hope comes from the foot of Drew Brown. Hopefully he can prevent a shutout.
This game won’t be pretty for Husker fans, and I’m predicting it’ll end with a nail in the coffin of Nebraska’s bowl game hopes. Here’s to a losing season, Huskers.
Nebraska travels to State College, Pennsylvania, this weekend take on Penn State on Saturday, Nov. 18, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. CT. The game will air live on FS1.