Penn State Nittany Lions Football Season Preview History
2015 Penn State Football Preview:
The first season of James Franklin’s tenure as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions finished just off the mark. A 2 overtime loss to Ohio State kept Penn State from having a signature win, and set off thoughts of what might have been. The Nittany Lions enter 2015 with possibly the nation’s front runner for the Heisman Trophy in Christian Hackenberg and an offense headlined by upperclassmen. Look for Hackenberg to continue to distinguish himself in his senior year, and for the Nittany Lions offense to be among the best units in the Big Ten. The big question for James Franklin’s squad in 2015 will be Penn State’s defense. Headlined by seniors Anthony Zettel and Jordan Lucas, Penn State’s defense will need to make big strides to put the team in the hunt for the Big Ten title this season. Key road games for Penn State in 2015 will be at Ohio State, and at Michigan State.
2014 Penn State Football Preview:
The 2013 season for Penn State was one of ups and downs, but finished on a high note as the Nittany Lions went into Camp Randall and got a win over a tough Wisconsin team. The 2014 season is one of new beginnings. Bill O’Brien’s tenure as head coach has ended and there is much excitement around the arrival of James Franklin. The recent lift of the postseason ban by the NCAA has surged new hope into State College. Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg returns to pilot an offense full of young faces, and an entirely new scheme. If the Nittany Lions can go on the road and win over a rising UCF program in week 1, then the majority of their big games will take place at Beaver Stadium. The blue and white will have to travel to Ann Arbor, but get Ohio State and Michigan State at home. Look for the Lions to make at least one upset, and for them to be a darkhorse to reach the Big 10 title game.
2013 Penn State Football Preview:
Under tough circumstances, first-year head coach Bill O’Brien proved that Penn State football is not as far off as many thought. The Nittany Lions won 8 games in 2012 and will look to build off that success this season. Penn State returns junior wide receiver Allen Robinson and they could have the best group of tight ends in the country. Robinson caught 77 passes for 1,013 and 11 touchdowns during his sophomore campaign. The biggest question surrounding Penn State will be the person throwing to Robinson and the talented tight ends. Super-recruit Christian Hackenberg arrives to Penn State with high expectations and eventually will be the leader of the team, but he may have to watch from the bench to start the season. JUCO transfer Tyler Ferguson will get a long look for the starting gig. Beaver Stadium is known as one of the toughest places to play and the second largest stadium in the nation welcomes rival Michigan and Nebraska this season.
2011 Penn State Football Preview:
Led by Joe Paterno, one of the most storied coaches in all of sport, the Penn State Nittany Lions will once again challenge the top teams in the Big 10 for the conference crown. Though they stumbled a bit to a 7-6 finish in 2010, a wealth of young talent has them poised for a breakout season.
When it comes to the offense, the entire thing will be centered around which of the three young quarterbacks gets the majority of playing time. Signs point to either Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin, both of whom got playing time last year and have one more year of experience under their belts. As for skill positions, Penn State will miss the contributions of Evan Royster who left for the NFL, however wide receiver Derek Moye is extremely talented.
Penn State often hangs its hat on having a stout defense, and this year should be no different. Though last year was a bit of a down season in terms of points allowed, this season should be different thanks to a health core of talented players including linebacker Micahel Mauti, cornerback Stephon Morris and defensive end Eric Latimore.
2010 Penn State Football Preview:
Penn State coach Joe Paterno is returning to Happy Valley for an unprecedented 44th year and after losing quarterback Daryll Clark it may be difficult for him to improve upon - or match - the Nittany Lions 11-2 season last year.
Sophomore Kevin Newsome will take over the quarterback slot, though he does not have much experience. However, there is good news as senior running back Evan Royster, who has ran for more than 1,000 yards twice in his career, will accompany Newsome in the backfield. Royster and an experienced offensive line should provide the offense with some much needed stability.
Defensively, Penn State will have a tough job replacing five starters on a squad that ranked first in the conference in scoring defense by only allowing 12.2 points per game. Senior tackle Ollie Ogbu will be a force up the middle and will surely be a challenge for opposing offenses to run against.
Although the Nittany Lions have a lot of potential, their schedule is one of the toughest in the country. The second week of the season they head to Tuscaloosa to take on defending national champion Alabama, and they have to travel to Ohio for a late-season showdown with Ohio State.
2009 Penn State Football Preview:
Head Coach: Joe Paterno
The top national story for the 2009 Penn State Nittany Lions football season will likely be about whether JoePa will retire. Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno has coached the Nittany Lions for over 40 years and will be 82 years old when the season starts. So its natural that media outside Pennsylvania will continue to focus on this story. Closer to Happy Valley the stories will likely be about how Penn State can improve upon their 11-2 record from 2008. The Nittany Lions return QB Daryll Clark and RB Evan Royster to anchor a dangerous PSU offense. If they can put points on the board and JoePa gets the Penn State defense playing lights out then State fans could be booking plane tickets to Pasadena for early January 2010.