Penn State at No. 15 Wisconsin 11/30/13 College Football preview
The closing of the regular season in ends with Penn State visiting No. 15 ranked Wisconsin at Camp Randall. The Nittany Lions are looking for their first road win against the 9-2 Badgers, while the Badgers are looking to avenge last seasons loss. The last time Penn State went a season without a road win was in 2003.
Penn State’s offense is led by true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg is second in the Big 10 with 16 TDs and only 10 INTs and 237.8 passing yards per game. Hackenberg’s favorite target is wide receiver Allen Robinson, who’s averaging 119.1 yards per game. He’s also first in the Big 10 and third in the nation with a total of 1310 yards. However, Wisconsin has only allowed 100 yards games three times in 2013, largely due to cornerback Sojourn Shelton.
The Lions are fifth in the Big 10 with 430.3 yards per game, showing that they can move the ball. However, they’ve had problems in critical situations. They rank 9th in points at 28.5 per game, 8th in red zone scoring percentage (82.6%), and are 11th in third down percentage (34%). Additionally, they have trouble holding onto the ball, with a turnover differential of minus 5. If Wisconsin can force Penn State into third down situations, look for them to be able to get off the field, as their defense ranks third in the nation at conversion percentage, allowing opponents to convert only 29.3% of the time.
On the other side of the ball, look for Wisconsin to rely on it’s run game once more. Their one-two punch of Melvin Gordon and James White has proven wildly effective, with Gordon ranked second in the Big 10 with 1375 rushing yards and White with 1281. Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis also figures to play a large role. The Badger’s number one receiver is 4th in the Big 10 with 916 receiving yards. The Penn State defense will have trouble containing Wisconsin’s weapons, as the Nittany Lions’ defense ranks 8th in the Big 10, giving up 26.4 points per game.
Wisconsin looks to have advantages both with and without the ball. However, if Penn State can steal possessions by forcing turnovers, they will have a chance at the upset.