"Ohio State 27, Penn State 10:
A much-improved defense prevents this from being the debacle it was for the Lions last year. But right now, OSU still has too much size, speed and depth for PSU."
-- Mark Brennan, mxbscout
"Ohio State 41 Penn State 10:
James Franklin's first Whiteout experience will not be a pleasant one as the Ohio State defensive line takes up residence in the Penn State offensive backfield and puts the Lion defense in the unenviable position of being on the field most of the game."
-- Scott Cole, PSU96
"Ohio State 35, Penn State 10:
It is paining me to write this, but I just don’t see how our offense is going to put points on the board. Both offensive lines are struggling right now and will be exposed by both defensive lines. Keep Hack involved and on his feet and we have a fighting chance. We can’t put our defense in bad field position at all. We have to keep them fresh and keep the Buckeyes’ O off the field. Do we have the manpower to do that? I wish, hope and pray we do, but fear we don't. I don't feel as if Urban will call of the dogs if he gets up. The 49-point loss last year may be doubled if we aren't prepared. Our guys will fight and would be amazing if we could pull a 2005 on them. I am not holding my breath. I can’t wait for Saturday to get here to get at these guys. I am trying to rationalize an 11.5-point spread from Vegas. Hopefully somebody a lot smarter and richer than me sees something nobody else does. We Are…"
-- Keith Conlin, keithconlin
"Ohio State 38, Penn State 13:
There is no doubt in my mind that the offense will struggle against the Buckeye front four. The Penn State defense keeps the Lions close at halftime but they get gassed and the Buckeyes run away with it late in the 3rd."
-- Nirav Dalal, PlaybookNirav
"Ohio State 27, Penn State 17:
With Penn State woeful offensive line and punting the Lions look to be at a major disadvantage field position-wise against OSU. I expect the defense to make some big plays, but in the end the Lions likely don't have the horses to take this one."
-- Mark Harrington, PlaybookMark
"Ohio State 31, Penn State 6:
Penn State's OL situation is like having a broken rib. It hurts everything else you try to do. Ohio State will take advantage of this. Penn State's defense will keep PSU in the game but I fear the defense will succumb to having to defend too many short fields."
-- Tom Hoffman, underscoreTom
"Ohio State 45, Penn State 9:
The PSU offensive line will get a chance to show just how offensive it is, against a defense that outmatches them at every position. Chuck and Duck will again be the order of the day for Hackenburg, who will somehow manage to drive the Lions into Ficken territory a couple of times to prevent a total whitewash."
-- Tom McLaughlin, WeRPSUPlaybook
"Ohio State 38, Penn State 10:
Like Franklin said, you can't flip a switch and fix things overnight especially when you're outmatched in nearly every position. Think about the future while creating the atmosphere for recruits."
-- Donovan Neal, PSUMtnBike
"Ohio State 30, Penn State 14:
Penn State scores a late touchdown, but it doesn't much matter as Ohio State will have already built a sustainable lead by then. Penn State's defense hangs tough through halftime but tires in the third, allowing the Buckeyes to bust through the door and break this one wide-open."
-- Greg Pickel, GregPickel
"Ohio State 51, Penn State 6:
Despite the embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech earlier this season, Ohio State is playing solid football right now, particularly on offense. Penn State's defense will be one of the best the Buckeyes face this year, but the problem will be field position and time of possession, with the Penn State offensive line likely to be mauled by a talented front four for Ohio State which will cause three-and-outs at an alarming rate."
-- Rob Riva, rriva
Mark Brennan, mxbscout "7-5:
We knew all along that this would be the season where the NCAA sanctions had the greatest impact. Luckily, since most of the penalties have been (or soon will be) eased or eliminated, this should be as bad as it gets. I can see PSU winning a game or two more if the offensive line develops more quickly than expected and all the key players stay healthy. But things will go sideways in a hurry if key injuries hit."
Scott Cole, PSU96 "7-5:
The sanctions have taken their toll on the depth chart, leaving the offensive line and linebacker corps in a very precarious spot. All it will take is one or two injuries to key personnel for things to end up worse than my predicted record. However, I have faith in this coaching staff and feel they will get the absolute most out of the Nittany Lions. This team will be much better in November and will hopefully get a chance to have a month of bowl practices to use as a springboard into what looks to be a very bright future."
Keith Conlin, keithconlin "8-4:
With so many questions at my beloved offensive line position this season, I cant lie that I am not concerned about the franchise QB being protected. But offensive lines thrive under pressure IMO. The staff won lots of games at Vandy playing in the SEC, so the it knows how to get it done with less than ideal players/circumstances. Guess what, we have those less than ideal circumstances. When the sanctions were handed down in 2012, we always knew that the 2014 season would be the hardest one on the team and staff because of the loss of scholarships. It is not going to be easy, but I have faith in the new staff and the attitude of our players. Tough kids all around who have been put through the ringer more than once or twice. This team will have its struggles early but I think they hit their stride by October. Until Brady Hoke proves he can win tight ball games (see Michigan-PSU 2013) I am predicting a win at the Big House. I am ready for the season and can't wait to get it started."
Nirav Dalal, PlaybookNirav "8-4:
I can see this season going +1 or -1 a win but anything beyond that would be a surprise to me. The defense will keep the Lions in most games but the offense will be anemic with a struggling offensive line and very young receivers. The result will be some tough, close loses but a solid season overall when you consider the depth issues."
Mark Harrington, PlaybookMark "8-4:
This has the makings of being the toughest sanction season for the Nittany Lions, but with talent and speed throughout the squad and the "unknown" factor of a new staff in the Big Ten, I expect the Lions to win a major game few expect them to and lose a "gimme" few throught as possible. With paper-thin spots on the roster, things could unravel quickly with a key injury or two."
Tom Hoffman, underscoreTom "7-5:
I'd like to say 8-4, but I just can't see a six-deep offensive line allowing the offense to operate on all cylinders. The defense may be able to pick up some of that slack. James Franklin was able to wring every last drop out of the Vanderbilt sponge, so maybe he can do the same with PSU."
Tom McLaughlin, WeRPSUPlaybook "6-6:
This season could end dramatically different from the prediction, but so much will depend on team unity, and on how well Penn State gets out of the gate. A win in Ireland, particularly a convincing one, could set the tone for a 9-3 campaign, but on the other hand, pre-season excitement and enthusiasm is often watered down in the face of a slow start or a disappointing loss. It will be an interesting challenge for the staff, and we will learn much about how they handle adversity and success."
Donovan Neal, PSUMtnBike "8-4:
A season of unknowns with another new coaching staff, a depleted roster in key areas, and on paper the most crippling year from the sanctions to look forward to. The Lions must develop the offensive line and stay healthy. A healthy team may pull out 9 wins, but an unhealthly one may barely break even. I'm going with a prediction somewhere in the upper middle."
Greg Pickel, GregPickel "7-5:
The chorus has sung, as pundits and fans alike are projecting the Lions end up 7-5. A win they shouldn't have and a loss that shouldn't happen are to be expected, but the limited depth everyone knew was coming this fall makes it tough to make Penn State an eight win team. In fact, 9-3 seems just as plausible as 3-9, depending on how the cards fall. But 7-5 would be considered a success, with anything more than that simply being gravy atop the James Franklin express."
Rob Riva, rriva "6-6:
By now, everyone knows the depth issues facing the Nittany Lions, particularly on the offensive line, as a result of the sanctions. The game is won in the trenches, and Penn State is one or two injuries away from asking some run-ons to play offensive line. That also will likely temper the effectiveness of one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Christian Hackenberg, who has some extremely talented players in the backfield, at tight end and at wideout. The 2014 season will be the low-point of the sanction years with things looking up exponentially hereafter. Look for Penn State to drop a game it otherwise shouldn't early in the season as the team develops (i.e at Rutgers) but pull out a stunner by the end of the year (i.e. home against Michigan State)."