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** 2017 Opponent Previews: Penn State (Game 11) **

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Mavric    9,774

Athlon Sports: Penn State Nittany Lions 2017 Preview And Prediction

 

Penn State may have been a surprise Big Ten champion last year, but the Nittany Lions aren’t sneaking up on anyone in 2017. The offense returns every starter but one while the defense brings back plenty of experience as well. Ohio State will get its shot at revenge against Penn State at home but Michigan, Nebraska and in-state rival Pitt all come to Happy Valley. The pieces and the schedule are in place for the Nittany Lions to repeat 2016’s success.

 

National Ranking: 6

Big Ten East Prediction: 2

 

https://athlonsports.com/college-football/penn-state-football-2017-nittany-lions-preview-and-prediction

 

 

HuskerOnline: Spring Opponent Preview - Penn State

 

Penn State ended up pulling off one of the more improbable seasons in some time last year, going 11-3, winning the Big Ten Championship and earning a berth to the Rose Bowl.

Looking ahead to 2017, expectations are as high as ever for the Nittany Lions. With nearly every starter back from last year's roster, PSU has its sights set on another conference title and more.

To get an idea of where things stand with Penn State coming out of spring ball, we caught up with BlueWhiteIllustrated.com's Nate Bauer to get his thoughts and perspective on the team.

 

Overall 2017 win-loss expectation

“I’m going to say I think 10-2 is probably pretty reasonable. I think they’re going to trip up somewhere.

"I don’t know where, but they’ll trip up to a team that they don’t expect to lose to. Then I think at Ohio State is maybe one of the toughest draws you can get on a schedule. So that will probably be it.”

 

https://nebraska.rivals.com/news/spring-opponent-review-penn-state

 

 

CollegeFootballNews: Penn State Woke Up, Now Look Out

The James Franklin era needed a little while to wake up. When it did, the results were fantastic.

 

2016 wasn’t supposed to happen.

 

Last season was expected to be all about Ohio State, the resurgence of Michigan, and the return of Michigan State in a brutal-looking Big Ten East. After going 14-12 in Franklin’s first two seasons, Penn State was merely a team in the division – nothing more.

 

The punishments from the Joe Paterno era were supposed to keep the football team down – sort of like the sanctions hamstrung USC for so many years. But Bill O’Brien and Franklin were able to keep the recruiting wheels rolling, the NCAA caved after not really picking a lane with its initial stance – either the NCAA overreached with its punishment and was out of its jurisdiction, or it should’ve gone in full-force; it wasn’t definitive enough either way – and the pieces were in place to start winning again.

 

http://collegefootballnews.com/2017/preview-2017-penn-state-woke-up-now-look-out

 

2017 Penn State Preview: What You Need To Know

2017 Penn State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

 

 

SBNation: Penn State was 2016’s most fun team. Now 2017 means huge expectations
The reigning Big Ten champs won’t fly under any opponents’ radars this time around.

 

“James Franklin and his teams seem to do best when they feel they're being underestimated, and they might indeed be underestimated in 2016.” That’s a line from last year’s Penn State preview, when I professed Penn State’s head coach was doing a better job than most thought but that a fast start would be key.

I get half-credit, at least.

 

Penn State surged in 2016, from 7-6 and 35th in S&P+ to 11-3 and eighth. The Nittany Lions were 0-6 against Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State in Franklin’s first two years but went 2-1 in 2016, which sparked a run to the Big Ten title.

 

But the Nittany Lions surged despite a slowstart. The defense was shuffled around early in the year and needed a month to settle in and get healthy. The offense showed potential against Pitt and Temple but got erased by Michigan.

 

PSU hit October at just 2-2, and despite outplaying Minnesota on October 1, the Nittany Lions trailed the Gophers 23-20 at home with a minute left. But Trace McSorley found himself in engineering a last-second field goal drive; PSU won in overtime and never looked back.

 

Projected 2017 record and S&P+ ranking: 10-2 (eighth)

Biggest strength: The skill corps includes the nation’s scariest runner (Saquon Barkley), maybe its best tight end (Mike Gesicki), and a stable of deep threats. Quarterback Trace McSorley knows how to get them the ball.

Biggest question mark: Living by the big play is fun, but it’s hard for most teams to sustain. Can the offensive line improve enough to rectify efficiency issues?

Biggest 2017 game: The trip to Ohio State (Oct. 28) is enormous for national title reasons, but watch out for the trip to Iowa (Sept. 23), the first of many revenge opportunities for opponents.

Summary: Penn State is now a team to beat, but the Nittany Lions will be fun as hell and have the talent to make a go at a Big Ten repeat.

 

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/7/5/15907796/penn-state-football-2017-preview-schedule-roster

 

 

 

More to come...

 

 

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Redux    5,383

If they win 11 games, we will be the -1

 

Penn State loses to Nebraska, mark it.

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OH HSKR FAN    78

Penn State had a great year last year. How much of that was from them not having a bullseye on their back? I thought they sneaked up on teams after a slow start to the season (loss to Pitt and blow out loss to Michigan).

 

Will be interesting to see their response now that they have folks undivided attention.

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Landlord    7,563

We are undefeated against PSU since joining the B1G, but each game has been an absolute nail-biter. Probably the most competitive and most enjoyable series we've had in the league - wish we were still playing them every year.

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Redux    5,383

Really hope they are undefeated when we beat them in Happy Valley this year.

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suh_fan93    1,113

4 starters back on their offensive line will be huge for them. They may not out due last year but they'll be good once again.

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NUinID    656

Penn State had a great year last year. How much of that was from them not having a bullseye on their back? I thought they sneaked up on teams after a slow start to the season (loss to Pitt and blow out loss to Michigan).

 

Will be interesting to see their response now that they have folks undivided attention.

 

This is the way I feel also. I want to see them do it again before I annoint them as being back. They got a huge boost from beating OSU, and who wouldn't, but Minnesota took them to OT. I don't think they will suck, but 8-4, or 9-3 is probably where they are at next year.

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Landlord    7,563

It'll all come down to OL health and McSorley continuing his level of play from the second half of last season. Last year's team was a tale of two halves of the season - they found some groove starting with the OSU game and never stopped.

 

 

That Rose Bowl game against USC had to have been the second best game of the entire season behind the national championship. They scored on like 5 consecutive plays and still lost that game.

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brophog    706

Penn St is kinda weird. 2015 Sparty, my favorite whipping boy, was clearly overrated. It leapt off the page. It leapt off the screen. Penn St doesn't. Good year to date numbers, especially for a 2 loss team. Close losses. Lopsided wins. Impressive on tape.

 

They're not overrated, at least not like I'd describe it, but they also don't really fit the narrative. Innovative offense, good QB, Heisman candidate at RB. That's what we're told. But look at the rushing numbers. Two of these are losses against teams that have defended the run well, but three are comfortable wins where you'd assume they would have better rushing numbers.

 

Rutgers: 90 yds, 31 carries (2.9)

Mich St: 65 yds, 21 carries (3.1)

OSU: 91 yds, 35 carries, (2.6)

NW: 95 yds, 38 carries, (2.5)

Indiana: 39 yds, 31 carries, (1.1)

 

But we know they can run it well. The non-conference numbers were all good, as were the two I didn't list, Iowa and Michigan. Not only is there a very stark variance between the top half and bottom half rushing numbers, but it doesn't really align with strength of opponent. It's just weird.

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Glendower    142
On 5/28/2017 at 0:02 AM, Redux said:

If they win 11 games, we will be the -1

 

Penn State loses to Nebraska, mark it.

Marked! I'm feeling good about this game now! :)

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