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Northwestern-Penn State 2023 Predictions

The question isn’t the projected victor, but the margin.

Northwestern v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Last week, only one Inside NU staffer correctly predicted Northwestern to take down the Minnesota Golden Gophers. What do our writers say about today’s game with No. 6 Penn State? Let’s just say: not a ton of faith in the Wildcats.

Iggy Dowling: Penn State 45, Northwestern 10

Last week was good. Penn State is better. Much, much, much better.

Bradley Locker: Penn State 37, Northwestern 7

A Brendan Sullivan garbage time touchdown to get Northwestern on the board seems like a lock.

David Gold: Penn State 45, Northwestern 10

This is going to get ugly. The ‘Cats have given up over 200 rushing yards in their last two days, and Penn State has two of the best backs in the country. On the defensive side, the Nittany Lions have 11 players with sacks already, so NU’s offensive line will have its hands full on Saturday morning.

Ethan Segall: Penn State 31, Northwestern 14

Good teams win, great teams cover. The ‘Cats come into this game undefeated at Ryan Field but the Nittany Lions are on a mission. This, however, hurt my feelings:

Adam Beck: Penn State: 42, Northwestern 14

Penn State’s defense and run game completely dictate things as Northwestern crashes back down to reality. Don’t count out an early Jack Lausch rushing touchdown giving Northwestern some false hope and a Ben Bryant to A.J. Henning second-half score to make it three straight weeks the pair have linked up for six.

Natalie Wells: Penn State 38, Northwestern 10

NU’s offensive line simply won’t hold up against the Nittany Lions’ pass rush. Led by Chop Robinson, Penn State’s defense should put constant pressure on Ben Bryant. Last week saw Bryant come up limping multiple times, so his mobility is something to keep an eye on. It was an amazing feat to beat Minnesota, but the ‘Cats will have no such luck against an exponentially tougher opponent.

Ascher Levin: Penn State 28, Northwestern 14

After a truly remarkable comeback win, Northwestern is taking on No. 6 Penn State. The Nittany Lions have a great running back duo in Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton. While the Wildcats pulled off an improbable win last week, they allowed 244 rushing yards. Northwestern will have to clean that up if it wants to have a chance to win. Ben Bryant was incredible in the fourth quarter and overtime after Northwestern’s offense went up-tempo; however, Penn State has allowed an average of under nine points per game to its opponents this year. The Wildcats will need to have another great game from Bryant and the offense to keep pace with the Nittany Lions. Penn State is the best team that Northwestern has faced this year, and PSU will come out on top against the Wildcats.

Noah Poser: Penn State 37, Northwestern 12

Me, myself, and I alone picked Northwestern to win last weekend and I was on an island. Living on island time was nice, but unfortunately, it’s back to the real world this weekend for both myself and the Wildcats. In the real world, Penn State is coming to town. Something else about the real world is that here: you don’t always get what you want. That is, unless you’re Penn State and you want a win against Northwestern. In that case, ask and you shall receive!

Ashleigh Provoost: Penn State 45, Northwestern 6

It’s not a matter of if Northwestern wins or loses but a matter of how much the team is going to get crushed by. Especially after watching the Wildcats’ performance against other strong teams, I’m going for the more cynical approach this week.

Patrick Winograd: Penn State 38, Northwestern 14

Penn State is just too dominant for Northwestern to stop. This is not the same offense that Minnesota walked into Evanston with (which, despite the loss, still put up 34 points). It is a much better O. Penn State’s balance offensively and ability to create turnovers will turn into a lot of points put up on the board in a hurry. While Northwestern showed signs of improvement on offense last weekend, Penn State has given up a combined 13 points in its two conference games against Illinois and Iowa. Northwestern outscoring both of those teams’ combined effort would actually go down as a positive, so despite how lopsided my score might be, I’d like to call myself an optimist about this week.

John Olsen: Penn State 35, Northwestern 7

Unfortunately, it’s the ‘Cats’ destiny to lose this weekend. You’d have to go back to 2004 to find the last time they managed to topple an AP Top 10 opponent at Ryan Field with an actual crowd in the stands.

Season Standings

3-1: Bradley Locker, Natalie Wells, Brendan Preisman

3-0: Noah Poser

2-2: Iggy Dowling, David Gold, John Olsen, Ascher Levin

2-0: Sammy Krimstein, Patrick Winograd

1-2: Ethan Segall, Ashleigh Provoost

1-0: Jeremy Song

0-2: John Ferrara, Adam Beck