Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Anthony Zettel (98) during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan 43-40 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Boston College vs. Penn State: 5 Big Questions — #1
Q: And now for the biggest question of all: Does Boston College find a way to rush to victory, or does Penn State’s defense clamp down for a Pinstripe Bowl win?
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BL: This one seems like a very difficult one to predict. The Penn State offense really had trouble scoring this year, but was bailed out continually by the defense. I do think that the extra practices will be huge for the offense. Boston College was good against the run this year, and Penn State couldn’t run. That means I’m not expecting much out of the running game.
The key for Penn State in this one clearly has to be Christian Hackenberg. He still has a lot of talent, it just hasn’t shown through this year. If he gets time to throw the ball I think he’ll be able to take advantage of the Boston College secondary However, that won’t be easy, as the front seven of Boston College could dominate the Penn State offensive line.
I do see Penn State catching some breaks and putting some points on the board, even if some of the scores are field goals by Sam Ficken.
On the defensive side of the ball, Penn State was the best against the run this year. Sure, I know Boston College can run the ball, but I don’t think it will happen against this defense. The Eagles could get some yards, but Penn State clamps down near the red zone.
I have a feeling this will be a bit of an ugly, low-scoring game. I expect a defensive struggle, with it all coming down to who catches the most breaks. Something like 7-3 seems likely at halftime. In the end, I’m taking the Nittany Lions 17-10 in a very competitive contest.