#4 Penn State Football Game Preview vs Northwestern Wildcats

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saquon barkley

Northwestern welcomes Saquon Barkley and the #4 Penn State football team to Ryan Field Saturday, providing a chance for the Chicagoland area to see the current Heisman Trophy front-runner in action live and in living color.

Barkley is the leading candidate to obtain the coveted trophy at the Downtown Athletic Club come December, according to ESPN College Football Final Studio Analysts Joey Galloway and Jesse Palmer. College Football Final Studio Host Adnan Virk was gracious enough to join us on The TSB Show, and we covered Barkley in detail.

You can hear the audio via Sound Cloud below:

“We knew going into the year how good that offense is, and Saquon Barkley was my good friend Jesse Palmer’s pick for the Heisman, and so far he’s been incredible,” said Virk.

“Two weeks ago he had the 358 all purpose yards and last week it was only around 200 yards, but he was amazing once again. It’s amazing to watch him perform as perhaps the nation’s best running back although Bryce Love at Stanford is putting up ungodly numbers, so I don’t think he’s getting near enough pub.”

You can read more about Penn State football, their playoff chances, the state of B1G football, Notre Dame and much more from the podcast with Adnan Virk over at this link.

saquon-barkley penn state football

KICKOFF: 11 AM Saturday ABC

Penn State football Preview:

After an early season loss to Pittsburgh blew Penn State’s college football playoff chances last season, the Nittany Lions are not throwing away their shot, they are not throwing away their shot at making the final four this season. Virk referred to DeSean Hamilton as “young, scrappy and hungry” last week on his show, and the host promised more upcoming Hamilton allusions and lyrics during this season of Final.

Hamilton blew us all away with nine grabs for 122 yards and three touchdowns versus Indiana, to earn B1G co-offensive player of the week honors.

Penn State football history has its eyes on him as he’s now the program’s all time leading receiver. The Penn State football record book is not wide enough for Hamilton and any other PSU receiver.

hamilton-chicago

These kinds of reference jokes are Virk’s staple on his program. Take for example UCF running back Adrian Killins: “Killins Me Softly” (The Fugees) or Alabama QB Jalen Hurts: “Everybody Hurts” (R.E.M.) If you’re a ’90s music geek, like the people of this website are, then you’ll really enjoy that facet of Virk’s show.

Quarterback Trace McSorely is probably the B1G’s best at his position, but there is so much more for this Northwestern team to worry about than just McSorely, Barkley and Hamilton though.

“I feel like McSorely and Barkley get all the headlines, and for good reason, but the defense is really solid and to me they feel like the best team in the B1G right now,” Virk said.

alexander-hamilton

SPREAD/WAGERING ACTION:

Penn State football comes into this Big Ten matchup as heavy 1/6 favourites to win, and the bookies are generally aligning with Penn State to win by two scores. The lowest spread being offered is 12 points, with the highest 16.5.

The over/under from all bookmakers is 55 points, which, given how frequently Penn State have been scoring this season, has seen the over as the more popular bet here (10/11) especially if Northwestern are able to score a few of their own touchdowns.

One bookmaker is offering a bizarre market on Penn St. to score over 20.5 points (10/11) which, on paper, looks a banker.

northwestern football hutcheson field

Northwestern Football Preview:

Denver Broncos QB1 Trevor Siemian is an honorary captain for this game as he’s back on campus for Homecoming.

While Northwestern looks pretty much mediocre a third of the way through this season, Siemian is a superlative point of pride for the Wildcats community. He’s a demigod in the NU Twitterverse and blogosphere right now.

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald discussed his development through the years.

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There will be a college football pregame show originating from Hutcheson Field, the Northwestern football practice facility that is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, on Saturday. It’s not just metaphorically or practically on the lake shore, it’s literally right there, and it’s about as picturesque a view as you’ll find anywhere in college football.

Pictures only tell you so much, likewise with video, as you really have to go to Evanston and see it first hand. Go here for much more on that.

Another major Northwestern football story line this week is in the off-the-field vein. What will transpire at Ryan Field during the national anthem?

NORTHWESTERN FOOTBALL PINSTRIPE

Fitzgerald left it up to the Northwestern football players themselves. More on that over at this link. 

“When you look at the peaceful protests that guys have made is not at the national anthem, it is not at the military, it is not at our military, it not at at the freedom that we have all been provided. I say that and you have 40% of the country that takes it out of context. That’s the 40% that you can’t control and I’ve expressed that to our guys,” he said on Monday.  

“It’s one thing to say I wanna take a stand for something. It’s another to back it up with action,” Pat Fitzgerald later added.

“I know that our guys, no matter what choice they make, they support our country. We’re citizens before we’re students…coaches.”

pat fitzgerald northwestern football

Prediction: Penn State football 31, Northwestern 21

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube

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