5 reasons Penn State will lose against Northwestern

As Penn State prepares for its matchup against Northwestern, we take a look at how both of these teams fare against each other.

It wasn’t too long ago when Northwestern was ranked under head coach Pat Fitzgerald after quite the impressive season back in 2020.

Now, this Northwestern is not what it used to be. South Carolina transfer Ryan Hilinski enters his second year with the team.

The Wildcats also lost some key talent throughout the past few seasons, including Rashawn Slater, Greg Newsome, and most recently, Brandon Joseph, who transferred to Notre Dame.

As for Penn State, one big trait they lack is depth. Hence the reason why we have seen so many freshmen play for them this season after just four games.

Despite Northwestern losing some key players, they still have the talent to take down Penn State on Saturday.

Here are the top five reasons why Penn State will lose to Northwestern on Saturday.

5. Penn State has barely played any good teams Penn State’s victory over Purdue Week 1 was really their only test of the season. 2022 Auburn is not what it used to be after losing Bo Nix to Oregon. Penn State won five straight last year before falling apart. 

5. Penn State has barely played any good teams But in those five games, they played two ranked teams. This season, neither of the teams they played has been ranked. Purdue gave them a test and the Nittany Lions pulled through with a 35-31 win. Despite the Boilermakers not being ranked, they are still coming off an impressive 2021 campaign.

5. Penn State has barely played any good teams Penn State has an impressive defense. But again, they haven’t played anyone besides Purdue. And Purdue is now starting to struggle.

4. Northwestern run game One of the brightest spots of Northwestern is their run game. Evan Hull is the sixth leading rusher in the Big Ten with 119 yards through the first four games of the season. 

4. Northwestern run game Not only that, he is coming off a 1,000-yard season in 2021. Hull isn’t the only player in Northwestern’s backfield that can make some noise. Northwestern’s running back room has two returning players in Andrew Clair and Anthony Tyus III. 

4. Northwestern run game With Penn State‘s lack of experience on their defense, that is where Northwestern‘s run game should be able to take advantage of.

3. Northwestern Secondary Despite losing safety Brandon Joseph to Notre Dame, Northwestern still has plenty of experience in their secondary. They also brought in Duke transfer cornerback Jeremiah Lewis. Lewis spent the past four seasons at Duke. 

3. Northwestern Secondary Last year, he finished with 30 total tackles, two pass deflections and two interceptions. This season, he has 25 total tackles and three pass deflections through the first four games.

3. Northwestern Secondary Lewis, on top of Cameron Mitchell and AJ Hampton Jr., bring plenty of experience to the table for Northwestern‘s secondary. The Wildcats will likely rely on safety Coco Azema after the transfer of Joseph.

3. Northwestern Secondary Not only experience, but Northwestern’s secondary is productive, despite losing Joseph to Notre Dame.

4. Northwestern pass rush Northwestern bolstered their defensive line this offseason in the transfer portal, adding three players and even more experience. 

4. Northwestern pass rush The Wildcats already have two veteran players returning in defensive end Adetomiwa Adebawore and defensive tackles Jordan Butler and Jason Gold Jr. Penn State’s offensive line struggled immensely last season and were a big part of their struggles in 2021. 

4. Northwestern pass rush They have been fairly productive thus far, with guys like offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu really bolstering his draft stock through the first four games of the season for Penn State. However, they still have a lot to prove up front. 

4. Northwestern pass rush Sure, Northwestern might not be the most jaw-dropping team. But their pass rush got stronger and that will pressure Penn State‘s offensive line.

1. Penn State pass rush Penn State lost key talent in their edge rusher room. Now, there hasn’t really been anyone to step up. Adisa Isaac has been getting a little bit of NFL Draft buzz, like first-round draft buzz. 

1. Penn State pass rush But, he hasn’t really done a whole lot to be considered at least in the first round. Defensive tackle PJ Mustipher is coming off a season-ending injury from last season. He has the experience, but Mustipher hasn’t really done a lot this season either for Penn State’s defense. 

1. Penn State pass rush Penn State’s pass rush lost a lot of production from last season, and now they haven’t had anyone step up through the first four games.

1. Penn State pass rush We aren’t even halfway through the college football season and we have already seen plenty of upsets around the country, which has really shaken up the Top 25 rankings.

1. Penn State pass rush Penn State has lost to teams before that they shouldn’t be losing to. Last year it was Illinois in nine overtimes. Sure, Illinois has been a team that has taken down ranked teams before. 

1. Penn State pass rush They did it in 2019 against the Badgers when they were ranked. Can Northwestern be that team this year to take down Penn State? They certainly can.

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