The winner between Bryan Harsin’s Auburn football team and James Franklin’s Penn State football program will be sitting pretty entering Week 3.
In one of the biggest games of the weekend, Bryan Harsin’s No. 22 Auburn football team will make the trek to State College to take on James Franklin and the No. 10 Penn State football program.
Not only will ESPN’s College GameDay be at State College this weekend, but this will be the primetime telecast on ABC in Week 3. While these traditional powers are routinely top-25-caliber, whoever wins on Saturday night will have made a statement to the rest of college football that this year’s team is to be taken very seriously. So what team should have the upper hand here?
Here are five predictions for when Penn State hosts Auburn in a good, old-fashioned Whiteout.
Auburn vs. Penn State: 5 predictions for Tigers game vs. Nittany Lions
5. Bo Nix will throw for as many touchdowns as he does interceptions
While the Auburn offense has looked fantastic under Harsin through two games, it will be a complete roller coaster ride with Bo Nix under center in this one. Though he usually thrives at home, look for him to throw for as many touchdown passes as he does interceptions vs. the feisty Penn State defense. It will probably be closer to two of each, but three of each would be insane.
4. The James Franklin to USC rumors will be ever-present throughout the telecast
While I do not think this is a narrative that Penn State wants to have out there, but there is simply no denying it. Franklin is one of the likeliest candidates to replace Clay Helton as the next head coach of the USC Trojans. Would the Pennsylvania native leave his dream job? No matter what he and his family decide to do, this will be a big talking point throughout the broadcast of the game.
3. Sean Clifford will play his best game of the year, possibly ever for Penn State
Though Nix will turn the ball over in this game, look for Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford to not only play his best game of the season but quite possibly his best of his Nittany Lions career. He will throw for over 300 yards. While he may not throw for more than two touchdowns in the game, Clifford will be counted on to deliver in the clutch for the Nittany Lions program Saturday.
2. Auburn will not score over 60 points for a third consecutive week
Given that it will be a major step up in competition, there is no way in hell Auburn scores over 60 points in three consecutive weeks. Penn State’s defense is too good for that to even remotely happen. Frankly, Auburn would be lucky to score 30 on the Nittany Lions in this signature game of the Week 3 slate. Though the Tigers will put up some points, they are not hanging half a hundred.
1. Penn State wins on a last-second, 50-yard field goal to stun Auburn
Wouldn’t that be something? There is nothing better than seeing a college football game in primetime go down to the wire with so many seasons’ dreams and aspirations on the line. In a back-and-forth contest, Penn State will take the lead for the final time by way of a simply majestic 50-yard field goal as time expires. Beaver Stadium will erupt in a way we have not seen in years.
Prediction: Penn State 29, Auburn 27