Nirav Dalal (PlaybookNirav)
COMMENT: Penn State has the skill players to win this type of game, but I think the Lions are still a year away from having the size, strength and depth on both lines to pull it off. I see Pitt winning this one in the trenches.
PREDICTION: Pitt 24, Penn State 20
Scott Cole (PSU96)
COMMENT: Pitt's entire season hinges on the outcome of this game. That's a lot of pressure for a team lacking in offensive weapons. Both teams ran vanilla offensive schemes in Week 1. Now we will get a better gauge of what the Penn State offense and defense really look like. Expect a low-scoring slugfest in Trace McSorley's first start in a hostile road environment.
PREDICTION: Penn State 20, Pitt 16
COMMENT: McSorley improves upon an adequate Week 1 performance and Godwin has a big game to lead the Lions. PSU defense does just enough to get the emotional win.
PREDICTION: Penn State 24, Pitt 23
Mark Harrington (PlaybookMark)
COMMENT: This is a road clash, but I expect the Lion faithful to be out in force. Watch for the offense to come out with a much more diverse look, as Pitt throws everything it can at McSorely and company.
PREDICTION: Penn State 23, Pitt 16
Rob Riva (rriva)
COMMENT: This is Pitt's year to beat Penn State, and I think the Panthers do just that. James Franklin also needs to prove he can beat a team with a pulse on the road, notwithstanding the large Penn State contingent that will be at Heinz. Look for a slogging affair reminiscent of the 2014 Rutgers game, except this time the Penn State offense will need another week to gel in order to put enough points on the board.
PREDICTION: Pitt 20, Penn State 10
Keith "Goon" Conlin (KeithConlin)
COMMENT: Tough, hard-fought game that comes down to the fourth quarter. Franklin gets the first "upset" win, so people will stop saying he is on the hot seat (he's not). Big win for the program going forward.
PREDICTION: Penn State 17, Pitt 16
Tom Hoffman (underscoreTom)
COMMENT: This is Pitt's Super Bowl and Penn State needs the win to get Franklin over the hump. I suspect Penn State's offense will look pleasantly different and I expect Pitt's to look about the same (but with some Jordan Whitehead trick plays). Penn State should win this comfortably, but I fear that won't be the case. .
PREDICTION: Penn State 20, Pitt 17
Scott Neal (PSUMtnBike)
COMMENT: Pitt may be the most one-dimensional team Penn State faces all year, but it will not matter as this game will be won in the trenches. Penn State hangs tough but gets manhandled at the line of scrimmage as the Panthers dare the Lions to stop the run.
PREDICTION: Pitt 27, Penn State 24
Tom McLaughlin (WeRPSUPlaybook)
COMMENT: For Pitt, this is the biggest game in years, and the focus of all its preparations. Penn State remains a question mark. The Lions have enough talent to win and win big, but focus, preparation and the intangibles have not worked in their favor. Pitt has everything to gain and nothing to lose, while for Penn State, the opposite holds true.
PREDICTION: Pitt 27, Penn State 17
Mark Brennan (MarkBrennan)
COMMENT: They’ll never admit it, but one gets the sense the Nittany Lion coaches have had this one circled for a while — and for many reasons. ;) We’ll really get a look at PSU’s new offense, and the defense plays just well enough for Franklin’s crew to leave the Steel City with a win. Oh yeah, and more strong special teams play is key for the Lions.
PREDICTION: Penn State 24, Pitt 20
COMMENT: Neither team showed anything on offense last week. The question then is, who has the better athletes to roll out a more complete offensive scheme to be successful? The answer is PSU. Pitt lost two defensive starters against 'Nova, and the OLB replacement is a walk-on. 'Nova held Pitt to 281 total yards, less than 100 on the ground. No offense to 'Nova, but which D do you think will have more success playing an eight-man front and leaving the corners on an island? Barkley, Godwin and Gesicki make the difference on O, and Reid, Campbell, Haley and Amani O on D!
PREDICTION: Penn State 31, Pitt 17