The Penn State Nittany Lions are 7-2 after a 41-14 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes at home. This pushes the win streak to five in a row, dating back to when they knocked off the then-undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers on the first Saturday in October.
There are but three games left this year, and victories over Indiana, Rutgers and Michigan State could put the Nittany Lions in a perfect position to have a major impact on the 2016 holiday bowl season.
If only they had not lost a heartbreaking three-point game at Pittsburgh in early September, Penn State might be banging the drum and making their case for being ranked in the top five.
But it is better to focus on reality than theoretical situations, and the reality is that the squad can completely re-galvanize a fan base that has been hungry for a winner and a perennial championship contender.
Head coach James Franklin has made all the right moves over the course of the last five Saturdays, but the team need not get ahead of themselves before they make a visit to Indiana to take on a sometimes dangerous Hoosiers squad.
Now ranked at #12 nationally, PSU has a strong offense, a stout defense and a very special special teams. By the numbers, this game seems to be more difficult for Penn State than many fans would imagine. The Nittany Lions have the 59th-ranked overall offensive nation and the 32nd-ranked overall defense.
Conversely, the Hoosiers have the 35th-overall ranked offense and the 51st-overall ranked defense. These numbers bode well for the squad from Indiana, and they have been putting up just short of 300 yards per game through the air.
This means that once again quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley will have to initiate substantial offense in order to neutralize any momentum that Indiana hopes to create with designs to upset a squad on a sizable winning streak against very quality opponents. Again, Penn State finds themselves 6 1/2 point favorites in Vegas, which boded very well for them against Ohio two weekends ago in Happy Valley.
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