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Fearless (or fearful) Penn State 2014 season predictions

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Eight days before the Penn State season begins (well, is SUPPOSED to begin, assuming Bárđarbunga doesn’t interfere), it’s about time for season preview-type stuff.

 

Saturday’s Trib will have a full two-page insert official paper PSU season preview.  They’ll be some additional coverage in the coming days, too (a James Franklin story coming Monday), but most of next week will be treated like a regular game week. And considering the unusual nature of that particular game week (taking place in Ireland and all), the blog will be mostly devoted to that.

 

So a week prior to the game, I’ll give my predictions for each game this season. Feel free to bookmark it so I can be repeatedly laughed at for being so wrong:

 

 

 

Overall record: 7-5

 

Big Ten record: 4-4

 

Placing: tie-3rd, Big Ten East division

 

Biggest win: Beating a ranked, 6-2 Maryland team in a big way to spark new rivalry

 

Toughest loss: To Northwestern on Homecoming and James Franklin’s home Big Ten debut

 

Christian Hackenberg passing yards: 2,955

 

Leading rusher: Bill Belton, 970 yards

 

Leading receiver: Geno Lewis (68 catches, 920 yards)

 

Breakout player: WR DaeSean Hamilton

 

Breakout true freshmen: TE Mike Gesicki, LB Jason Cabinda

 

Season storyline I: Nittany Lions recover from midseason swoon to finish James Franklin debut campaign strong

 

Season storyline II: Predicted disaster on o-line never materializes, unit is satisfactory and gradually improves throughout year

 

Season storyline III: Early-season injury forces Hackenberg to miss 2 games, eschews Big Ten player of year consideration

 

Season storyline IV: Penn State finishes in top 3 of conference in sacks, fine defensive line earns catchy nickname

 

Season storyline V: Mediocrity, parity reign over Big Ten, which misses out on semifinals of debut College Football Playoff

 

 

Game by Game-

 

Aug 30: LOSS, 26-23, vs. UCF

 

Sept 6: WIN, 31-27, vs. Akron

 

Sept 13: WIN, 37-24, at Rutgers

 

Sept 20: WIN, 45-20, vs. UMass

 

Sept 27: LOSS, 23-20, vs. Northwestern

 

Oct 11: LOSS, 43-40 (4 OT), at Michigan

 

Oct 25: LOSS, 53-14, vs. Ohio State

 

Nov 1: WIN, 38-17, vs. Maryland

 

Nov 8: WIN, 44-24, at Indiana

 

Nov 15: WIN, 38-9, vs, Temple

 

Nov 22: WIN, 35-7, at Illinois

 

Nov 29: LOSS, 22-20, vs. Michigan State

 

 

 

Agree? Disagree? Think I missed something? I’m just crazy on something else? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Take care.

 

 

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Author: Chris Adamski

Chris Adamski has been tirelessly working in Pittsburgh sports media for more than 12 years. He has extensively covered the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, Pitt, Duquesne and the WPIAL and been a fixture at the biggest events in town over that time -- two Stanley Cup Finals, two AFC Championship games, the 2006 MLB All-Star Game and the 2011 NHL Winter Classic, just to name a few. Chris has been the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Penn State football beat writer since the start of the 2013 season. His primary offseason responsibility is assisting in the Trib's Penguins hockey coverage.

 
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