Preview 2019: Penn State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Penn State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Penn State

Preview 2019: Penn State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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2. KEYS TO THE SEASON

Biggest Key To The Penn State Offense

Fumbles … stop doing that. Okay, so pass protection is a bigger deal after giving up 29, but there were way too many turnovers. The Nittany Lions lost 13 fumbles in all – most in the Big Ten – and at least one in each of the last ten games, but were often times saved by a defense that did a decent job of taking the ball away.

How bad was the fumbling issue? Penn State lost three in 2017 when Mr. Barkley was the main man in the backfield, and lost just eight in 23 games before the problems kicked in.

Biggest Key To The Penn State Defense

Crank up the toughness against the better running teams. It’s statistically inexcusable to lead the nation in sacks, generate 107 tackles for loss, and still get hammered for almost 2,200 rushing yards.

The run D wasn’t that bad, and it should be stronger with the experience and talent on the front seven, but it still allowed over 200 yards five times. The 2017 defense gave up two bills just once – in the tough loss to Ohio State – and going back to when the defense turned it on midway through 2016, it allowed 200 just twice over a span of 23 games.

Key Player To A Successful Season

QB Sean Clifford, Soph. 
The 6-2, 218-pounder was a nice get for the program in 2017, but he wasn’t in the same world as Justin Fields, or Jalen Hurts, or a slew of other options in the transfer portal. But with Tommy Stevens bolting after Clifford’s outstanding spring, now the spotlight is on.

Trace McSorley was a gamer’s gamer, but he was also wildly inconsistent and too inaccurate, only completing more than 60% of his passes twice last season. Clifford doesn’t have to be special, but he has a sneaky-good supporting cast to work with and a great defense to help the cause. As long as he limits the mistakes and keeps the chains moving, he’ll be doing his job.

Key Game To The Penn State Season

Michigan, Oct. 19
The Nittany Lions have managed to pull off some massive wins under James Franklin, and they’ll be good enough this season to beat anyone on the slate, but considering the road games at Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, and yeah, throw in Minnesota to deal with, owning Happy Valley is a must.

After getting roasted by the Wolverines 42-7 last season, and with three of the next four games on the road – including the dates with the Spartans and the Buckeyes – lose again to Big Blue, and the East title hopes take a massive hit.
Penn State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

2018 Penn State Fun Stats

– Red Zone Scoring: Penn State 52-of-58 (90%) – Opponents 27-of-36 (75%)
– Penalties: Opponents 97 for 874 yards – Penn State 61 for 551 yards
– Penn State 3rd Quarter Scoring: 87 – 4th Quarter Scoring 158

NEXT: What Will Happen

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