"Michigan State 22, Penn State 10:
I just don't see the Lions having enough offensive firepower to get past the Spartans. The good news is this senior class, which did and sacrificed so much for the program (and Penn State in general), will have a chance to wrap up its career on a winning note in a bowl game."
-- Mark Brennan, mxbscout
"Michigan State 24 Penn State 10:
The Nittany Lions will fight to the bitter end for this small, but special, senior class. It just won't be enough against the Spartans' balanced offense and stout defense."
-- Scott Cole, PSU96
"Michigan State 20, Penn State 13:
In a closer game than expected, PSU hangs tough with the Spartans before a late TD puts them over the edge. Great job seniors. Thank you and let’s get the bowl practices in and make sure they are worth it."
-- Keith Conlin, keithconlin
"Michigan State 24, Penn State 0:
MSU will wear PSU out in the 2nd half and put some points on the board. If this offense couldn't produce against the paltry Illini defense, this week will be far worse. PSU's first home shutout loss since 2001."
-- Nirav Dalal, PlaybookNirav
"Michigan State 24, Penn State 9:
Michigan State tends to play down to their opponents, which bodes well for PSU, but given the fundamental passing (and running) issues PSU has had it’s tough to see how they put together consistent drives to keep pace with MSU in this one."
-- Mark Harrington, PlaybookMark
"Michigan State 23, Penn State 6:
Maybe there will be some 2013 Wisconsin magic left in this team, but as long as the offense remains pallid, the defense won't be able to hold back the Spartans' offense forever."
-- Tom Hoffman, underscoreTom
"Michigan State 35, Penn State 6:
The Nittany Lions look to have already checked out on this season, and a tough Spartan offense will easily overpower the scrappy Penn State defense, particularly in the second half when fatigue, and frustration with the inept offense will set in."
-- Tom McLaughlin, WeRPSUPlaybook
"Michigan State 20, Penn State 6:
The Nittany Lions have been wearing down both physically and mentally with each game. MSU is a physical squad that will bring the heat on the OL and QB. Unless the Lions speed up the offense, spread out the Spartans, and break out of the grips of the MSU line, their youth will be over powered. "
-- Donovan Neal, PSUMtnBike
"Michigan State 24, Penn State 13:
Contrarian thought might indicate that Penn State, after looking so awful against Illinois, would come out and beat the Spartans on Senior Day. But I don't think the Lions will have enough offense to make that happen. Penn State scores first, but can't keep up with Michigan State late."
-- Greg Pickel, GregPickel
"Michigan State 29, Penn State 3:
With one of the most dysfunctional offenses since the early 2000's, Penn State's heroic defense will be on the field far too long which doesn't bode well. The best Penn State can hope for is that the Spartans significantly overlook the Nittany Lions and Penn State, somehow, catches lightning in a bottle on Saturday. That being said, it remains to be seen whether the Penn State offense has the guts and heart to send off the seniors with a victory."
-- 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)."