ESPN’s Football Power Index has released its projections for every game on Penn State’s regular season schedule. Compared to some other metrics, the FPI is pretty bullish on the Nittany Lions.
PSU has one glaring question on offense. Trace McSorley, perhaps the best quarterback in the program’s history, has graduated, and is now a Baltimore Raven.
Sean Clifford, a talented but inexperienced quarterback, is expected to take over for him. The season may hinge on his ability to lead the offense.
ESPN’s FPI has a full season projection of 8.9-3.2 for Penn State football in 2019, and ranks the team 12th.
That is one spot ahead of Big Ten East power Ohio State.
The game-by-game projections line up with that number as well. Penn State is the underdog, per FPI, in just three games this year, though it has at least a 41-percent chance in every game.
Here are the full projected results:
- Week 1 vs. Idaho: Win
- Week 2 vs. Buffalo: Win
- Week 3 vs. Pitt: Win
- Week 5 at Maryland: Win
- Week 6 vs. Purdue: Win
- Week 7 at Iowa: Win
- Week 8 vs. Michigan: Loss
- Week 9 at Michigan State: Loss
- Week 11 at Minnesota: Win
- Week 12 vs. Indiana: Win
- Week 13 at Ohio State: Loss
- Week 14 vs. Rutgers: Win
Given the recruiting talent that Franklin is bringing in, a 9-3 season during a quarterback transition year would be a solid accomplishment.