Week 12 – Indiana at Penn State

Posted Nov 15, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – Indiana at Penn State

Indiana (4-6) at Penn State (6-4) Nov. 17, 12:00, BTN

Here's The Deal: 0-15. Indiana has lots and lots of bad records against great football programs, but it has had no luck whatsoever against the Nittany Lions with all 15 losses coming since they joined the Big Ten. This year, another win by Penn State will set the stage for an interesting showdown in the season finale against Wisconsin, which might not mean anything considering the Badgers are locked into the Big Ten championship game, but will be ramped up with emotion. If it means an 8-4 season, it'll be something even more to shoot for. But first, Bill O'Brien's club has to put away a Hoosier team desperate to close with two victories.

Just when it seemed like it might be time to get interested in IU – following wins over Illinois and Iowa - dreams of representing the Leaders in the Big Ten title game hit the turf with a resounding thud losing to Wisconsin 62-14 on Senior Day. Now the Hoosiers have to win at Penn State and beat Purdue to go bowling. The passing game is in place to make this interesting, and the defense is aggressive, but it's going to take something special to pull off the minor miracle.

Why Indiana Might Win: Is it possible for IU to bomb away on the Penn State secondary? The Nittany Lions aren't giving up big yards, and they're not allowing much of anything deep, but they'll give yards and they'll allow decent passing attacks to move the ball, especially if there isn't a running game to rely on. This is the best passing game Penn State has faced all year – at least statistically – and there's nothing for the Hoosiers to lose needing to throw to keep up the pace. They're going to have to take a few chances and control the pace, and if Penn State isn't getting into the backfield, this might be interesting.

Why Penn State Might Win: Time to get the ground game going. Penn State has gotten a terrific year out of Matt McGloin and the passing attack, but it's going to be easiest this week to blast away on a Hoosier defensive front that gave up a Wisconsin school rushing record – think about that for a moment – 564 yards and seven scores. IU is great defensively at getting behind the line, and it's excellent at getting to the quarterback, but it has a big, big problem with anyone who tries to get physical. Penn State has been extremely consistent on the ground, with the lone blip coming in the loss to Ohio State. The O should be able to grind out at east 175 yards and a few scores helped by …

What To Watch Out For: Zach Zwiniak. The Penn State sophomore ran three times for two yards over the first three games, and then the ground game became his and now he has torn off four 100-yard games in the last six. Physical and quick, there isn't anything too flashy about his game, but he's a decent receiver and ultra-reliable at keeping things moving. He came up with a season-high 141 yards and a score last week in the loss to Nebraska, and this week he could be a 30-carry workhorse if everything goes according to plan.

What Will Happen: Penn State is still seething after the loss to Nebraska, while Indiana is still smarting after getting blown over by the Badgers. A balanced day from the Nittany Lion attack will overcome a decent afternoon from the Hoosier passing attack.

CFN Prediction: Penn State 31 … Indiana 16
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Penn State -18 O/U: 56
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 2.5