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Game Ten Preview: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

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NCAA Football: Indiana at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Who, When, Where: The Hoosiers welcome Penn State into Memorial Stadium at noon on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on either ABC or ESPN2 depending on what part of the country you live in, with Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard in the booth and Allison Williams on the sidelines. Indiana’s only win against the Nittany Lions came in 2013, and is certainly part of the reason Bill O’Brien is not still the head coach there.

Big Men on Campus: Marcelino Ball and Jonathan Crawford each recorded 9 tackles against Rutgers, sharing the honor of most tackles for the Hoosiers. Devine Redding accounted for two of Indiana’s second half touchdowns, one receiving and one on the ground. Finally, a general shoutout to the Hoosier defense for holding Rutgers to 1 of 16 on third down.

Aaron’s Penn State Take: Penn State has been playing its best football of the season over the past three weeks, so the fan base is expecting the team to run the table for the end of the season. The toughest game is supposed to be this game on the road in Bloomington, where the Hoosiers have not made it easy for opponents, upsetting Michigan State back on October 1 and taking Nebraska to the wire later that month. It won’t be an easy task to come out with the win, but I think the Lions are up for the task thanks to the improved play of the offensive line that has allowed Saquon Barkley to make noise in the Heisman race and Trace McSorley to make big plays in the passing game. Penn State prevails, 31-20.

How This Game Will Go During Basketball Season: Indiana travels to Penn State on January 18th and hosts them on February 1st. The primary sense of importance for the Hoosiers will be winning those games so as to not drop winnable contests in conference play. However, the Hoosiers are usually good for one WTF loss in conference play, so keep an eye on that January 18th game as a possibility. I would expect them to win comfortably in the February game, as doing anything other than that will raise a lot of eyebrows and blood pressure across the state.

Prediction: Penn State is a team that is very highly thought of right now. Indiana usually doesn’t finish well against those types of teams. For some reason, though, people seem to like the Nittany Lions by only about a touchdown, rather than a larger margin, which suggests uncertainty somewhere. Could Indiana keep it fairly close (or even pull the upset)? I’d like to think they could. In reality, though, Penn State probably gets up early and holds on the rest of the way, unless big plays go IU’s way. Call it Penn State 34, Indiana 31.

Next Week: Indiana travels to the Big House in Ann Arbor. It probably won’t go well.