Penn State won a sloppy game in Wisconsin to start the season and followed it with a beat down of Ball State. Auburn hasn't been challenged whatsoever through two games, pounding Akron 60-10 and Alabama State 62-0. Can Penn State register a second win in three games against a Power 5 team? Or will Auburn's offense continue a hot start to the year?
Here's what the BuckeyesNow staff expects in a Saturday night affair at Beaver Stadium.
AUBURN at PENN STATE – Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Spread: Penn State (-5.0)
O/U Total: 52.5
Brendan Gulick: Penn State 28, Auburn 30
I'm so interested in seeing how Auburn can handle a crazy road environment against a good team. They've not seen any stiff competition yet this season with wins over teams they expected to beat by 50+ points. There may not be a harder place to play a night game than Happy Valley.
While I think Penn State is "back" this season after a miserable 2020, I'm inclined to pick Auburn in this game. I like Bo Nix's experience for the Tigers. He's top-10 in the nation so far in passing efficiency and has tended to play his best football against other Power 5 teams. I think this will be a slugfest, but the Tigers walk away with a tight win.
Andrew Lind: Penn State 24, Auburn 28
The Tigers are playing a Big Ten opponent on the road for the first time in 90 years, and the atmosphere in Happy Valley will be the toughest they’ll ever enter into – and that includes their trip to LSU later this season. The Nittany Lions, meanwhile, are hoping to use the crowd to their advantage and score a win that could show they’re true College Football Playoff contenders.
Luckily for Auburn, it has one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Bo Nix. He’s completed nearly 75 percent of his passes so far this season, and that should be the great equalizer. The Tigers also have a stout defensive line, which will rattle Nix’s counterpart, Sean Clifford, and silence the crowd.
Brett Hiltbrand: Penn State 24, Auburn 27
You know who would absolutely take the USC job if it were offered? Penn State's James Franklin, who appears to have maxed his credit with Lions' fans and the cabal that is the Letterman's Club.
If he doesn't win this one against an Auburn team that is almost certainly more talented than Penn State, you might see a charter from Happy Valley to LAX in the first part of next week. The stats say Penn State has a good defense. We're about to find out. I think Auburn wins a close one.
Caleb Spinner: Penn State 28, Auburn 27
Let’s start with Penn State: a team so close to the top of the conference, but seems to always find themselves behind Ohio State. Same situation with Auburn, but swap the Buckeyes with a number of SEC schools, including Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU and/or Florida (the SEC is a loaded conference). I could honestly see this going either way, but I’d put my bet on the Nittany Lions. In a close game, perhaps even the closest big national game of the week, Auburn falls to Penn State in a fantastic contest.
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