Competition for the Big Ten East division heats up in Week 5 with the Indiana Hoosiers heading to Happy Valley to take on the B1G’s best-ranked team, the No. 4 Penn State Nittany Lions, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN (live stream it on BTN2Go.com).
If Penn State had an early trap game, it would have been Iowa. That didn’t happen, and the Nittany Lions advanced to 4-0. The James Franklin-led team has recorded two shutouts and its two-point victory over the Hawkeyes was the closest margin all season.
The Hoosiers started their season against Ohio State — which ended the way you expected it would — but the team looked better than they had in years and touted a passing attack that was both lucky and talented. The deep threat was inevitable with Richard Lagow dropping bombs all over the field, and they carried that momentum into their Week 2 win.
Indiana is one of the teams that had some scheduling issues due to Hurricane Irma at the onset of the season. The Hoosiers were forced to cancel their Week 3 matchup against FIU and instead fill their bye week with Charleston Southern. They’ve won both games since the Week 1 loss to the Buckeyes, but this week will be a tough test.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa.
- TV: BTN/BTN2
- Streaming: BTN2Gocom
- Odds: Penn State is favored by 17 points
Indiana vs. Penn State news:
- A couple of Penn State players are officially out for the rest of the season due to injury.
- The Hoosiers finally have a successful run game.
The biggest criticism of Indiana through two games was the abysmal play of the offensive line and, subsequently, the putrid run game. The line played better, albeit it against a weaker foe, and as a result, Morgan Ellison looked great, running for 186 yard and two touchdowns.
This week, Saquon Barkley put on a show under the lights in Kinnick Stadium against giant-killer Iowa, logging 358 all-purpose yards (a Penn State school record, and in the top ten all time for FBS schools).
The Nittany Lions definitely aren’t a lock for the College Football Playoff
Two weeks in a row Penn State has stayed in its top-four spot, meaning if the season was over today PSU would be booking tickets to the first round of the CFP. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, that’s not the case and the playoff committee hasn’t even released its rankings, but it’s still a good sign for the Big Ten team.
Both Michigan (No. 8) and Ohio State (No. 11) are on Penn State’s schedule in the next couple of weeks and will create some chaos for the rankings by early November. As the season gets further along, the Nittany Lions look more and more formidable and are definitely the top Big Ten East team to beat.
Indiana vs. Penn State prediction:
The Hoosiers give the Nittany Lions secondary some issues early on, with their deep passing game helping keep them in the matchup. Eventually the run game from Barkley and Co. will be too much for them to control and Penn State gets some separation on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.