For a moment last year, Penn State looked like it might be on the verge of a special season. A 5-0 start gave way to back-to-back heartbreaking defeats against Iowa and Illinois. Then, as if on cue, the losses started to mount.
Even in defeat, however, James Franklin‘s team was competitive. While the results didn’t always show it, Penn State wasn’t far off.
Quarterback Sean Clifford will be back for one last ride, which is wonderful news for PSU. While he’s had a rollercoaster collegiate career, he has improved, can be dangerous with his legs, and knows how to run this offense.
In fact, an injury to Clifford against Iowa ultimately led to the second-half collapse.
Defensively, former Miami head coach Manny Diaz will be tasked with leading a unit that finished sixth in the nation in scoring defense last fall. The front seven will look new, although the return of space-eater PJ Mustipher will be huge upfront. He also suffered an injury against Iowa, and his absence hurt this team a great deal.
The biggest concern is the offensive line and running game, which could wind up a strength. Clifford cannot be expected to take it all on himself. He needs help, especially with wideout Jahan Dotson off to the NFL.
There is still plenty of talent, but there are also plenty of questions. The conference feels somewhat open outside of Ohio State, but Franklin must address needs beyond the stellar, playmaking quarterback.
Penn State Odds 2022: National Championship & Win Total
All Penn State NCAAF betting odds are current as of Sunday, July 10 at 11 p.m. ET at Caesars Sportsbook.
- Win National Championship: +7500
- Win Total: 8.5 (Over -105 / Under -125)
- Win Big Ten: +1400
Penn State Schedule
|Week 1||@ Purdue|
|Week 3||@ Auburn|
|Week 4||Central Florida|
|Week 6||@ Michigan|
|Week 8||Ohio State|
|Week 9||@ Indiana|
|Week 11||@ Rutgers|
|Week 12||Michigan State|
Penn State Key Games
Penn State at Auburn (9/17/2022)
- Game of the Year Line: Auburn -1 at Betway
- Penn State won last year’s home meeting, 28-20
- Penn State is 24-24-0 all-time against the SEC
Penn State at Michigan (10/15/2022):
- Game of the Year Line: Michigan -7 at Betway
- Penn State lost year’s matchup, 21-17
- Michigan leads the all-time series 15-10
Penn State vs. Ohio State (10/29/2022):
- Game of the Year Line: Ohio State -12 at Betway
- Ohio State has won the last five matchups
- Ohio State won last year’s game, 33-24
Penn State Win Total Bet
Penn State Over 8.5 Wins (-105) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
You’ll know where you stand early.
Penn State’s opening game at Purdue is a massive one, and the trip to Auburn a few weeks later is vital for this bet to cash.
Sure, playing at Michigan will be tricky, and conquering Ohio State at home feels like a loss, but the rest of the schedule feels somewhat manageable. In fact, if Penn State can enter the last month with five wins, which it should, I’ll feel good about where things stand.
Clifford must stay healthy, which he couldn’t do last season, and the offensive line must gel. But it does feel like a team many will sleep on. A 10-win season, if all the parts come together, is within its grasp.