The coaching staff is optimistic about the O-line, which comes back healthy and experienced. If they can play to their potential, they’ll certainly be a big asset when it comes to the rush attack. Sequon Barkley and his 1,271 yards, 5.9 average, and 18 TDs is also gone. Junior Miles Sanders (31 ATT, 191 YDs, 6.2 YPA, 2 TDs), gets the call to start. Senior Mark Allen, a small but explosive and powerful back, may be given some prime opportunities this season.
Senior WLB Koa Farmer (48 TKLs, 1 SCK, 4.5 TFL) will be the stabilizing force for the linebacking unit. The top three performers from this group are gone. The Penn State secondary sees senior corner Amani Oruwariye (28 TKLs, 8 PBU, 4 INTs) return as the leader and lynchpin for this squad. This unit lacks depth and overall experience.
PK Tyler Davis will be replaced. He struggled on field goals last season. There are some promising freshman in line for the job. We think Jake Pinegar, who was First-Team All-District in high school and who hit two from 60 yards, will win the job. Junior punter Blake Gillikin (52 Punts, 43.2 YPP, 26 w/in20) has a strong leg and solid skills. Thompkins is a threat to break it all the way on punts. He took one back for a score last season and had 13.3 YPP, which is a great average. Barley, who ran two kicks back for scores, has to be replaced.
2018 Penn State Nittany Lions College Football Preview: Final Word
The Lions biggest game early in the season will be in Pittsburgh when they play the rival Panthers (Sep 8). Then, late in the month, they are at home against Ohio State (Sep 29). We see this as a huge test for both teams, and our 2018 Penn State Nittany Lions college football preview does not anticipate the home team generating an upset. After their bye-week, Michigan State (Oct 13) visits the Nittany Lions. Penn State lost to the Spartans in 2017. In November, the Lions play away at Michigan (Nov 3) and at home against Wisconsin (Nov 10). That’s one challenging schedule.
Top Three Takeaways
There will be a drop-off on defense
McSorely is the generator on offense
O-line needs to step up; can they?
2018 Penn State Nittany Lions College Football Preview Projection: 10-3 Record Overall/ 6-3 Big Ten; Finish: 3rd Big Ten East
For Easy Navigation Follow the Links Below
This team’s Conference Preview Page
Top 25 Hub
All College Football Conferences Hub
College Football Preview Main Page