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Rose Bowl Victory Would Cement Biggest Season in New Era of PSU Football

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The Penn State Nittany Lions stand on the doorstep of the most important game of their modern era after an incredible season that will forever go down in the history books. Sitting at 2-2 after the first four games, even the most loyal of fans could not have possibly imagined that they would be ranked #5 at the end of the season, just one slot short of the 2016 College Football Playoff.

They will star in the Rose Bowl, which will take place in the late-afternoon and evening of Monday, January 2. PSU will square off against USC, and the location suggests that it is basically a home game for the Trojans.

But Penn State coach James Franklin has encouraged the masses who are going to make the massive cross-country trip to come dressed in all-white, which will clearly delineate the Lions supporters from those from the Men of Troy.

As far as the numbers go, this is expected to be a high-scoring affair. The Trojans won the final eight games of their season, exactly like the Nittany Lions did. But Penn State finished their epic run with a dramatic 38-31 victory in the Big-10 Championship in Indianapolis.

The keys to this game will lie in just how effective a handful of stud defenders from USC are able to be. The squad has a defensive lineman, a linebacker and a defensive back who are all expected to go on the top two rounds of next year’s NFL Draft, and they will clearly have plenty of time to game plan for the Penn State attack.

Once again, the gravity of the game will likely fall upon the sturdy shoulders of sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley, who will look to get the team out to a hot start. PSU has trailed in so many games this season going into the half, but they have absolutely dominated the second half this year, including a historic run over the last month and a half.

That is a testament to amazing coaching, which just might be enough to propel the storybook squad to victory on the second day of 2017. Las Vegas currently has Penn State as a 6 ½ point underdog.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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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