Penn State football vs. Nebraska preview

penn state football

Penn State football will look to bounce back from an abysmal start to the 2020 season as it travels to Nebraska on Saturday afternoon. I’ve complained as much as the next guy about how bad Penn State football fans have it and how this year has been a train wreck, but it’s game week nonetheless. I’m tired of being the laughing stock of the Big Ten. Let’s take a look ahead of Saturday’s matchup.


All eyes will be on quarterback Sean Clifford, who has been taking some heat for the team’s 0-3 start. James Franklin decided to keep Clifford in the entire game against Maryland despite not doing… well… anything in all four quarters. The coaches will try some new looks with the offense, potentially getting Will Levis more snaps than what he’s seen so far.

The offense has struggled to get in rhythms over the first three games. In fact, Penn State has had consecutive scoring drives only twice this year. It has put good drives together for points but then proceeds to follow up with turnovers and punts. Whether it’s a different quarterback, different play calling or a change of tempo, there better be something not so vanilla about the strategy and approach to this game like we’ve been seeing.

Since Noah Cain got hurt in Week 1, the running backs have not been as productive as anyone would like them to be. Now, of course, the offense can’t be run-first when it gets behind three touchdowns early in the game like it’s been doing. I can’t believe I’m doing this to myself again, but I think the offense finally clicks this week. I expect to see more weight being put on the shoulders of Ford, Caziah Holmes and Keyvone Lee. I’ve spoken too highly of them for everyone not to produce. Someone… please, please step up. I’m begging.

Nebraska’s defense has let up an average of 36.5 points per game in its two losses, while the Nittany Lion offense is now averaging 26.3 points per game. The Huskers have some holes in it’s defense, but it’s just a matter of finding and exploiting them. The offense will find its groove this week and finally look like a half decent football team. If that doesn’t happen, I’m sorry and you can blame me for the team’s demise.


Last week against Maryland, Penn State’s defense failed to show up early giving up 28 points before halftime. After making some adjustments, it came out and didn’t let up a point in the second half to the Terps offense. Yes, Penn State did give up a touchdown early in the third quarter, but that was on a fumble recovery from its defense. Nice going, Cliff.

The second half defensive shutout deserves some credit, but the dumpster fire of a performance in the first two quarters outweighed the good. Missing tackles and blown coverages led to long touchdowns early and often, and the team could never find the momentum it needed. If Penn State wants to become a successful football team, the defense has to be the tone setters and get the ball back to the offense with good opportunities.

Nebraska’s offense hasn’t been too hot to start the season averaging just 15 points and two turnovers per game. I’d love to Brent Pry dial up some more blitzes this week. Adrian Martinez is a very athletic quarterback so not letting him extend plays is essential to the defense’s success. Unleash Shaka Toney, Jayson Oweh and Brandon Smith.

Game info

Date: Nov. 14
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
Spread: Penn State -3
Over/Under: 55.5

Prediction: Penn State 34, Nebraska 23

Hot take: Penn State doesn’t make me scream at my TV for three straight hours. Also, Tariq Castro-Fields records an interception.