PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: #11 Washington Huskies at #9 Penn State Nittany Lions
Two Tight Defenses Square Off in Fiesta Bowl
The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will kick off at 4:00 p.m. E.T., as the #11 Washington Huskies (10-2) meet the #9 Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2). The Huskies were 4-1 for their last five. They won their last two games and in their final regular season against the #13 Washington State Cougars 41-14. Washington finished second in the Pac-12 North with a 7-2 record. The Nittany Lions were second in the Big Ten East with a record of 7-2. In their last five games of the season, they lost to #6 Ohio State 39-38 and #24 Michigan State 27-24, and then reeled off three straight wins, beating Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland. Our Washington meets Penn State 2017 Fiesta Bowl pick has the Nittany Lions favored by 3.0 and the over/under ranging from as low as 52.5 to as high as 54.0.
The Huskies are averaging 412 yards of offense per game with 190 yards coming on the ground. They’ve been good for 36.9 PPG. Junior RB Myles Gaskin (208 ATT, 1,282 YDs, 6.2 AVG, 19 TDs) leads the charge when it comes to the ground game. QB Jake Browning (68.8 COMP%, 18 TDs, 5 INTs) is an accurate and effective passer. Top receiver Dante Pettis has 62 receptions for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s averaging 11.6 yard2-per-catch.
The Washington defense is stalwart, holding teams to 14.5 PPG and 277 yards overall. Opponents are averaging just 92 yards on the ground and only 185 yards in the air. The D has 35 PD, 13 INTs, and 35 sacks. They’ve made over 70 TFL. LB Tevis Bartlett (43 TCKLs, 4 SCKs, 12 TFL, 2 INTs) can cover a lot of territory. LB Ben Burr-Kirven leads all players on the team with 79 tackles.
- Ground game is huge with this team
- Sound production when passing
- Top-notch defense
Penn State Overview
The Lion offense is generating 453 yards of offense per game and 41.6 points. They’re passing for 286 YPG and rushing for 167. PSU QB Trace McSorley (65.3 COMP%, 26 TDs, 8 INTs) is an able and proficient passer. McSorley, also a decent runner, has rushed the ball 132 times for 431 yards and 11 TDs. He’s averaging 3.3 YPA. Penn State offers four receivers with 47 or more receptions and two more with 26 catches. WR DaeSean Hamilton (48 REC, 747 YDs, 15.6 AVG, 7 TDs) and TE Mike Gesicki (51 REC, 501 YDs, 9.8 AVG, TDs) are both productive pass catchers.
Like that of the Cougars, the Penn State defense is tough and stingy, giving up a mere 15.5 PPG. They are holding opponents to 119 YPG rushing and 210 YPG passing. The Penn State D has 37 sacks and more than 80 TFL. They’ve defended 52 passes and grabbed a dozen picks. Top performers include LB Jason Cabinda (86 TCKLs, 3.5 SCKs, 7.0 TFL), DE Shareef Miller (34 TCKLs, 4.5 SCKs, 10.5 TFL) and CB Amani Oruwariye (27 TCKls, 4 INTs, 7 TFL).
Nittany Lions Summary
- QB McSorley can make things happen
- Fine group of receivers
- Premium defense
Three Fiesta Bowl Takeaways
We have the following trio of takeaways for our Washington meets Penn State 2017 Fiesta Bowl pick-
- QB and receiving edge Penn State
- RB edge Washington
- Both defenses tough, stingy, and deep
Our 2017 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Pick
Tough call here, especially due to the fact that the defenses for both teams are excellent. Our Washington meets Penn State 2017 Fiesta Bowl pick is going to take the Nittany Lions at -3.0. We are also taking the over at 52.5. We figure each team is good for about 27 points today.