Penn State hosts an FCS opponent in Delaware this week. It is time to continue our College Football odds series with a Delaware-Penn State prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.
Delaware enters the game 1-0 with a win over Stony Brook. Delaware started hot in the game with Stoney Brook. They scored in the first quarter on a Ryan O'Connor touchdown pass. In the second half, they would add ten more points, including a touchdown with just 35 seconds left in the half to lead 17-3. They would add another touchdown on the first drive of the second half, and a defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter to take a 37-13 victory.
Meanwhile, Penn State dominated in the game against West Virginia. The scoring started with a 72-yard touchdown from Drew Allar to KeAndre Lambert-Smith. After a CJ Donaldson touchdown for West Virginia, Penn State responded with another touchdown to lead 14-7 at the half. In the second half, the defense stepped up. They allowed just one touchdown last in the game. Meanwhile, Allar threw two more touchdowns, including another Lambert-Smith. They would end up winning 38-15.
Here are the college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Delaware-Penn State Odds
Delaware: +41.5 (-115)
Penn State: -41.5 (-105)
Over: 54.5 (-115)
Under: 54.5 (-105)
How to Watch Delaware vs. Penn State
Time: 12:00 PM ET/ 9:00 AM PT
*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Delaware Will Cover The Spread
If Delaware is going to cover in this game, it is going to have to start with the defense. They were solid in pass coverage last week, allowing just 13 receptions on 35 targets in the game. Tyron Herring was solid in the game. He was targeted nine times in the game and allowed just three receptions for 31 yards. Meanwhile, he also had a pass breakup and an interception in the game. Overall, the pass defense broke up seven passes while also picking off three passes and dropping another interception. The Fightin' Blue Hens also got some good pressure on the quarterback. They have 16 quarterback pressured in the game, and two sacks. That was led by Chase McGowan, who had three pressures, a sack, and two quarterback hits. Still, they need to convert more of their pressures into sacks if they are going to get the cover.
At quarterback Ryan O'Connor needs to have a solid game. Last time out he went 20-33 for 290 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. Beyond the two interceptions, he also had two more turnover-worthy passes. In this game, O'Connor will need to take care of the ball. He tried to push the ball downfield with an average depth of target of 11.9 yards. If he can go short and make safer passes he could have a solid game. The offensive line needs to have a better game as well. He was pressured 18 times on 39 dropbacks. He was sacked five times, while only scrambling once for positive yardage.
Delaware also needs to have a solid game on the ground. The offensive line, for all the trouble they had in the pass blocking, did well in the run-blocking game. Marcus Yarns had 11 carries for 107 yards. He also scored twice on the ground. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry in the game, but just 1.91 yards after contact. That was a testament to how well the offensive line blocked for Yarns in the running game.
Why Penn State Will Cover The Spread
Penn State saw Drew Allar have an amazing first game as the full-time starter for Penn State. In the game, he went 21-29 passing for 325 yards and three touchdowns. He did have one turnover-worthy pass in the game, and he was also hit by three drops. Still, it was a solid game for Allar. The biggest issue was the protection of Allar. He dropped back to pass 32 times and was pressured on 13 of them. Allar was sacked just twice and scrambled away for positive yardage once, but protecting Allar is a much in this game.
The offensive line does need to do better in run blocking as well. Nicholas Singleton was the team's leading rusher, going for 70 yards on 13 attempts. He also scored once. Still, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry, but 4.54 yards after first contact. That means he was hit within a yard of the line of scrimmage on most plays. Overall in rushing downs, they averaged an average first contact position just over one yard past the line of scrimmage. While Delaware does not have a stellar defensive front, Penn State must block better in this game.
One defense, Penn State needs to continue to get pressure on the quarterback. In their game with West Virginia, they had 21 quarterback pressures in the game, still, they came away with just three sacks, three hits, and one batted ball. Abdul Carter led the way for Penn State. He had five total quarterback pressures with a sack and two hits on the quarterback. He could have had a better game, but he missed four tackles in the game.
They also need to find a way to get some turnovers in the passing game. Penn State did not have an interaction in the game. They also did not have a pass breakup. While only 16 of 25 passes were completed, it was not the defense forcing major incompletions, but just poor quarterback play from West Virginia. While Penn State got pressure on the quarterback, they had to turn those into turnovers.
Final Delaware-Penn State Prediction & Pick
Delaware was solid in pass coverage last week, but this week is a much different opponent. Drew Allar showed why many Penn State fans are excited about the season. He picked apart a power-five defense. While West Virginia may not be the top-quality power five defense, they are still much better than an FCS team. Penn State also got a lot of pressure against the West Virginia quarterbacks. If they do that in this game, they will force some bad passes. Then Penn State will capitalize this time and create turnovers. Delaware is a quality FCS school, but will not hang in this one.
Final Delaware-Penn State Prediction & Pick: Penn State -41.5 (-105)