Harvey Levine/FOS

FOS FEARLESS FORECAST: TaxSlayer Bowl

FightOnState.com's crack(ed) staff and friends give their predictions for the Nittany Lions' TaxSlayer showdown with Georgia.

Mark Brennan (mxbscout)

Comment: I just don't see Georgia being very motivated for this one, with a coaching staff in disarray and a bowl destination that is anything but unique. Penn State, meanwhile, really landed in a best-case-scenario postseason game. All things considered, the Lions are playing with house money, and I see them turning it into a victory.

Prediction: Penn State 21, Georgia 20

Scott Cole (PSU96)

Comment: Georgia underachieved this season and the coaching staff paid the price. They are now being coached by a hodge podge of graduate assistants and position coaches. This has to be de-motivating and I think Penn State will take advantage.

Prediction: Penn State 20, Georgia 14

Keith “Goon” Conlin (keithconlin)

Comment: Penn State historically plays well at bowl games and this year is no different. Against an undermanned and under-coached UGA squad, PSU plays well on offense and better on defense. Have a feeling UGA doesn't really want to be at this game and it will show. Penn State can use this game as a springboard to next year. We Are…

Prediction: Penn State 27, Georgia 14

Nirav Dalal (PlaybookNirav)

Comment: Georgia has more talent and I am certain that the Bulldogs could win this game. But I think the coaching carousel will really impact mind-set of this team. With Richt as the coach, Georgia wins. Without Richt and both coordinators, I think UGA struggles. I like Barkley going over 150 yards and Hackenberg throwing a couple of long balls to pull out the win.

Prediction: Penn State 24, Georgia 21

Mark Harrington (PlaybookMark)

Comment: On paper, Georgia should win this game. But with much of the staff leaving or already gone and the incoming coach worried about his current team and a playoff run, the focus for of the Bulldogs may be lacking. If Penn State can get energized for this game and use the weapons on both sides of the ball, it should have the edge.

Prediction: Penn State 20, Georgia 13

Tom Hoffman (underscoreTom)

Comment: Much like last year's Pinstripe Bowl, a bowl performance can look much different than the regular season showed. That can work both ways. Penn State will get its DEs healthy and despite James Franklin's comments, we'll probably see a couple of at least subtly different things on offense with new OC Joe Moorhead on board. Georgia is in a state of flux with its old coach now in Miami and its new coach still at Alabama. The Bulldogs have also struggled with injury and disciplinary issues. Two of Christian Hackenberg's best performances have come in season enders. With this potentially being his career-ender, too, I think we'll see another strong performance.

Prediction: Penn State 21, Georgia 13

Tom McLaughlin (WeRPSUPlaybook)

Comment: Penn State started and ended the season with many questions on offense, and immediately following the last game, one of those questions was answered with the dismissal of John Donovan. Georgia, however, is in disarray all around with the complete transition of the coaching staff. So if the PSU offense can put up a few points, the win is a real possibility. Look for a squad of motivated Lions to come up with just enough to get it done.

Prediction: Penn State 17, Georgia 14

Donovan Neal (PSUMtnBike)

Comment: Penn State entered the season youthful, with serious depth and talent issues. Many (including myself) thought the issues could be overcome by a weak schedule and an experienced quarterback. As it turns out, the schedule was quite better than most believed while exponentially increasing in difficultly. But the Lions did enough to earn a bowl trip. These past few weeks were some of the most critical practices in the healing and development of a squad, Penn State should be ready, rested and improved.   

Prediction: Penn State 27, Georgia 24

Rob Riva (rriva)

Comment: It wouldn't seem Georgia should be that motivated to make it back to EverBank Field for its second game in the 2015 college football season after firing its long-time head coach, losing players to violations of team rules and losing more coaches. I'd be inclined to pick Penn State in this one, because all things considered, the Bulldogs actually are a very solid matchup for the Nittany Lions (i.e. average non-mobile pocket passing quarterback with a north-south between the tackles running back and no elite receivers). Despite all of this, Georgia still has a roster littered with four- and five-star talent, and an outstanding defense. Again, it all starts and stops with the Penn State offensive line and Christian Hackenberg. Three-and-outs will make for short fields and a long game for Penn State, which is what I think will happen.

Prediction: Georgia 19, Penn State 13


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