Monthly Archives: November 2016

PSU on Doorstep of Historic Season Heading Into Big Ten Championship versus Wisconsin


Penn State dispatched of Michigan State 45-12 on Saturday, and the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 31-17. These two games set the stage for a huge Big 10 Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this Saturday evening.

For Nittany Lions fans, a season that started out somewhat bleak and disappointing has shifted gears to one of the most memorable in the past few decades. The squad has rattled off eight consecutive victories, including wins over Ohio State and many other dangerous opponents.

They have largely been propelled by the accurate and strong throwing arm of quarterback Trace McSorley and the nimble and powerful legs of running back SaQuan Barkley. When running on all cylinders, the squad has been mowing through opponents, utilizing especially strong second halves. In order to leave Indy with a huge Big 10 Championship win, they will have to be clicking against a tough Wisconsin squad that ranks slightly ahead of them, according to most recent releases.

The Badgers are more vulnerable against the pass then they are against the run the season, but they are highly -ranked in both regards. They have the 3rd-overall ranked defense in all of college football, allowing just a sliver over 100 yards per game on the ground. They’ve kept opponents to an average of less than 200 yards through the air, good enough for the 22nd-overall ranking.

Penn State has the 20th-overall ranked defense in college football, highlighted by a passing defense that holds opponents to just about 10 yards more than the Badgers are relinquishing. The story in this game will be told on the ground, and I’m putting the magic number at 85. If Barkley is able to get more than 85 yards on the ground, Penn State wins and an artist somewhere in a Pennsylvania studio begins the initial blueprints of a James Franklin statue.

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Nittany Lions Roll Into Big 10 Championship by Hammering Spartans


Another week, another notch in the win column as the Penn State Nittany Lions continue to roll through their 2016 regular-season schedule. A 45-12 victory over the Michigan State Spartans in Happy Valley capped off a 10-2 season that it includes a current eight-game winning streak.

Michigan State has had a historically awful year in a very competitive Big 10 Conference, but they are still extremely dangerous on any given Saturday. They were just a two-point-conversion away from beating Ohio State in the prior week, so James Franklin and his bunch went into this one knowing not to take the foot off the gas.

The game played out in a way similar to many in the past few weeks, as a highly competitive first half gave way to a second half in which the Nittany Lions completely dominated. This time, they outscored their opponent 35-0 in the final 30 minutes.

Trace McSorley had a field day in the Spartans secondary, completing 17 of 23 passes for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns. The passing game looked great in the final two frames, and McSorley continued to add eye-popping statistics to a very impressive sophomore campaign.

If there is one thing to be a little nervous about, is the fact that SaQuan Barkley only managed to gain 14 yards on 12 carries. If Penn State is going to be able to do their thing in the Big 10 Championship this Saturday against a very hungry Wisconsin squad, those numbers will need to improve drastically.

If they are able to prevail with a victory on this huge stage, they will end up playing in perhaps the biggest non-playoff bowl game this year.

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Nittany Lions Wager Everything in Final Showdown against Spartans


Okay. Even the most devout PSU fan could not have predicted they would end up at 9-2 after beginning the year 2-2. They now stand on the doorstep of running the board over the course of their final eight games, which would likely propel them into the top six teams in all of college football.

But let us not get ahead of ourselves. The Michigan State Spartans are a formidable squad ready to disrupt if not destroy the hopes of talented and ambitious squads this season. It is true that the feisty group out of East Lansing is 3-8 this season and 1-7 in the Big 10. But this makes them as dangerous as the day is long after they almost ruined Ohio State’s season this past Saturday.

A quick look at the numbers shows that the Nittany Lions have some advantages. Michigan State has the 74th-ranked offense in all of college football, and Penn State has the 22nd -ranked defense. This means that the boys in navy blue and white will likely be able to work their magic on the defensive side of the football, while super sophomores Trace McSorley and Saquan Berkeley do their thing on offense.

Both squads boast a top-30 overall-ranked defense. The first team to 20 points will likely win this affair, and 30 points will secure victory nine out of 10 times, according to mathematical probabilities. Penn State is a 12-point favorite in Vegas as of press time.

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Penn State Shutout of Rutgers Increases Nittany Lions National Prestige


The Penn State Nittany Lions once again utilized an amazing second half of offensive production to dispatch of an opponent, defeating Rutgers in New Jersey by a score of 39-0.

The dominant victory was the seventh consecutive win by the James Franklin-coached squad that has officially stamped their mark as one of the best college football squads in the nation.

The statistics on offense were not incredibly impressive given the numerical outcome, but the Nittany Lions defense turned in a historic performance.

Rutgers gained just 59 yards through the air and 40 yards on the ground, meaning that Penn State held them to 99 yards in total. Keeping a team from advancing less than an entire football field over the course of 60 minutes is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment. Six different players carried the ball for a Rutgers squad that came into the game hoping to at least keep things competitive, but the end result was disappointing and entirely unproductive

Sophomore running back SaQuan Barkley garnered 92 yards via 16 rushing attempts and crossed the line once. PSU is now 9-2 on the year and awaiting the official rankings to be released later this week.

Fans are daring to look forward to the final week of the season and a possible top-six ranking.

This would mean that Penn State is involved in a major bowl game for the first time since major disruptions took place in the sacred ground known as Happy Valley. With a victory against Michigan State next week, everyone can dare to dream big.

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PSU Expected to Continue Impressive Winning Streak at Rutgers


The Penn State Nittany Lions are ranked #8 overall, according to the Associated Press Week 11 standings. This is amazing – and plenty of motivation for fans to be excited – although savvy fans can only wonder what the ranking may be had they prevailed on the second Saturday in September at Pittsburgh.

Nonetheless, this is going to be an amazing year by any standards. An upcoming game at Rutgers will be the second road game in a row for the feisty squad that has put up an average of 39.9 points over the course of the last six games.

The offense has been unleashed by way of running back Saquan Berkeley and quarterback Trace McSorley. Penn State is a four-touchdown favorite in Las Vegas, meaning that they are expected to coast to victory in New Jersey. McSorley threw two interceptions last week, but an entirely vulnerable Scarlet Knights secondary might open up avenues for the sophomore to show off his strong arm and, at times, razor-sharp accuracy.

The “hostile” territory is less than 300 miles away, meaning that plenty of State College fans will be in attendance during an important game that could go a long way toward a major bowl game.

Rutgers has the 127th-ranked offense in the FBS, and the 94th-ranked defense. Simply put, the Nittany Lions should be able to roar as loud as they have any time this year throughout a Saturday evening underneath the stars in New Jersey.

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