The Hoosiers nearly shocked the number one team in the nation while Penn State hung disappointed all those who included them in their week 5 picks. Let's analyze this noon time Saturday showdown.
Indiana (4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS)
Last week the College Football Odds makers may have installed the Hoosiers as 21-point underdogs but Indiana was having none of it. The Hoosiers came into Week 5 undefeated and in their minds were as good as any team in the nation, including the consensus top dog Ohio State Buckeyes. They led at the half 10-6 and were bent on upending not only the No. 1 team in the country but getting their own school recognized by the pollsters and pundits who determine which teams deserve a ranking and which do not.
Ultimately the Hoosiers succumbed to not one, not two but three big play runs by Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliot who took it to the house on 55, 65 and 75 yard jaunts. It was almost as though someone had the controls to EA Sports NCAA Football and gave Elliot god-like powers over the mere mortals trying to tackle him. In total Elliot amassed 274 yards and three TD's but the real question becomes how did Indiana allow three homerun dashes by the same player? It is a gnawing concern for the defensive coordinator Brian Knorr and his staff.
If narrowly losing to Ohio State in their own playground wasn't disappointing enough the Hoosiers lost two of their key offensive weapons. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld went down with an ankle injury as did star running back Jordan Howard. Head coach Kevin Wilson has deemed both minor injuries but their status for Saturday's game is still unknown as of this writing.
Penn State (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
While the Nittany Lions did not have the shocking success against one of the best teams in the country like their opponents on Saturday they did in fact do something even more important - win. That's right a sloppy victory is better than a courageous defeat any day of the week and twice on Saturday. Penn State had to get it done without top running backs Saquon Barkley, averaging 8.9 yards per carry, and Akeel Lynch grounding-and-pounding their way over the Black Knight's defense.
Ultimately Penn State got the job done 20-14 but came nowhere near where they needed to be to cover the 25 ½ point impost that the college football oddsmakers were hanging on them before the met Army. It was an underwhelming effort by their offense yet their defense was stout holding the Black Knight's to only two scores and recovered three fumbles in the process.
College Football Pick
If you enjoy stats here are a few to chomp on:
-Overall Penn State is 8-8 against the spread versus Indiana since 1992
-Overall Penn State is 17-1 straight up against Indiana since 1992
-In games played at Penn State the Nittany Lions are 4-4 against the spread versus Indiana since 1992
-In games played at Penn State the Nittany Lions are 8-0 straight up against Indiana since 1992
Yet last season Penn State traveled to Indiana as 6-point road favorites and took a 13-7 victory which meant a push for both sides who included that game in their College Football Picks. This game will be tough to figure as the status of Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard are unknown. Thos two individuals are the straws that stir the drink for the Hoosier offense and if they are sidelined then the entire complexion of the game changes.
In addition we are unsure of the status of Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch. Their presence would reenergize a lackluster ground attack and make life very difficult for a defense that could not put the clamps on Ezekiel Elliot last week.
This one is a jump ball until we know the players but understand that when the line does come out that Indiana may be in for a tremendous letdown after barely capturing their biggest victory of the this or any other season.
Free College Football Pick: Play Penn State at JustBet.