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Preview: The 50-Yard Lion

Penn State Football

News, photos, scores and more about the Nittany Lions football season

Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:38:45 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2017

Penn State's Saquon Barkley a Maxwell Award finalist, and Mike Gesicki is one of three vying for the Mackey Award

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:40:11 UTC


Both sets of finalists were announced on Monday. Watch video

Penn State junior running back Saquon Barkley is one of three finalists for the Maxwell Award, given annually to college football's player of the year, and is also a finalists for the Doak Walker award, which is given to the nation's best running back.

Barkley is the first Nittany Lion to be a finalist for both awards since Larry Johnson was in 2002. The competition for the Maxwell Award includes Stanford back Bryce Love and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, while Barkley is up against Love and Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor for the Walker trophy.

Senior tight end Mike Gesicki also received good news on Monday, as he is one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's best tight end. He is the first Penn State player to ever be picked as a finalist. Wisconsin's Troy Fumagalli and Oklahoma's Mark Andrews are also in the running. 

Quarterback Trace McSorley is in the mix for a national award, as well, as he's one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm trophy, which is given annually to the best senior quarterback in the country.

ESPN's annual college football awards show is scheduled for Dec. 7 this year, and the live broadcast will feature the winners of the Maxwell, Walker, and Mackey awards. Then, on Dec. 8, the winner of the Unitas award will be announced during a ceremony in Baltimore, Md. 


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Penn State primer for Maryland week: The return of the running game, problematic pass coverage, more

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:00:00 UTC


The Lions opened as an 18-point favorite and the spread is up to 21. Watch video The 4-7 Terps lost at Michigan State last week. Penn State put up 56 on Nebraska on Saturday. Here are some of the PSU-Maryland storylines at the start of the week ... Bowl-game bound. Don't expect Saquon Barkley to return to Penn State next season. The junior is NFL-ready and set to become a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft if he can stay healthy. But Barkley made it clear he will play in Penn State's 13th game this season, the bowl game. A couple of big-name running backs -- Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey -- opted to sit out the postseason last year. Barkley wants to play. From Saquon: "Some people probably won't play, and if they don't play, that's on them. But me, I will play in the bowl game." Penn State's disappearing depth? Injuries affect every football team but the Lions were without two of their more talented athletes against Nebraska -- linebacker Manny Bowen and wideout Irv Charles. It sounds like both players are dealing with suspensions. Here was James Franklin's explanation on Charles' absence after the Nebraska game: "Irv was not available this week and I will leave it at that.'' Back to normal. The Lions' run game reappeared in the Nebraska win as Saquon Barkley (157 yards) paced an effort that generated 263 yards and four touchdowns. It should also be noted that PSU ran for 372 yards in a 38-14 triumph over Maryland at Beaver Stadium last year. An imperfect 10. The Lions sit at 9-2 and PSU is a three-touchdown favorite against Maryland. A 10-win regular season is a major achievement for James Franklin's program but PSU's players, coaches and fans know the team is a handful of points away from an unbeaten finish. Mop-up time mistakes or a bothersome trend? What's the deal with Penn State's pass defense? Ohio State's J.T. Barrett and Michigan State's Brian Lewerke carved up the Lions a couple of weeks back and Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee thrived during the second half of PSU's 56-44 victory. Lee threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns. A nice-sized chunk came against Penn State's backups but the 44 points were the most the Lions ever allowed in a home game. Subscribe to our Penn State YouTube channel for exclusive PSU videos, including The Penn State Blitz, Kick-Off and Post-Game Show, Penn State Tailgate, Beyond the Field and more. [...]

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Penn State's Senior Day win over Nebraska through Snapchat

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:00:00 UTC


Penn State vs. Nebraska through Snapchat

Penn State vs. Nebraska through Snapchat

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Updated Penn State bowl projections; applaud Saquon Barkley's decision to play in a bowl game, and more

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:30:00 UTC


Today's Penn State football news headlines feature updated bowl projections and praise for Saquon Barkley's decision to play in the Lions' bowl game. Watch video Today's Penn State football news headlines feature updated bowl projections and praise for Saquon Barkley's decision to play in the Lions' bowl game. Jerry Palm from CBS Sports is still projecting a Penn State-Notre Dame matchup in the Cotton Bowl, a game that will be played Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas. Palm's College Football Playoff forecast also went unchanged as he kept a final four of No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Wisconsin. ESPN's David Hale is forecasting a Penn State-TCU matchup in the Cotton Bowl, while his colleague Kyle Bonagura is picking a Citrus Bowl appearance against Mississippi State. Wherever Penn State goes bowling, Barkley has made the decision to play and avoid the same path that proved successful for Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette last postseason. Health is on Barkley's side, he said after the win over Nebraska, but more importantly, he said he just loves football and his teammates. Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette applauded that decision. "It's important to me [to play in a bowl] because I love football, and to be really honest, my teammates," Barkley said. "If my teammates came out and said don't play in the bowl game, I probably wouldn't, but at the end of the day I'm not playing for media, I'm playing for my teammates, my brothers, and from the offseason on, blood, sweat and tears, and my coaches too; I wouldn't be the person I am without those people." In other Penn State football news, the Big Ten will cause controversy in the playoff race. Penn State opens as a big favorite at Maryland, and new layers are unveiling for Juwan Johnson. Those headlines and more highlight today's Penn State football news roundup: One way or another, Big Ten will cause controversy in playoff race: Dinich [ESPN] Penn State opens as an 18-point favorite for regular season finale opposite Maryland: Pickel [PennLive] Penn State and the latest polls: Where are the Lions at now ahead of this week's Playoff top-25?: Pickel [PennLive] For Penn State seniors & Saquon, there's no place like Beaver Stadium: Poorman [] Column: Applaud Penn State running back Saquon Barkley ... he will play in bowl game: Cook [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] New layers unveiling for breakout WR Juwan Johnson: Eckert [Blue-White Illustrated] Penn State attendance up 6 percent for 2017: Wogenrich [Allentown Morning Call] The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Reviewing Penn State football's dominant win over Nebraska: McGonigal [Centre Daily Times] Penn State's 5 who thrived: Lions' skill position players steal the show against Nebraska: Flounders [PennLive] Penn State football: Handing out the grades following a 56-44 win over Nebraska: Jones [] Penn State recruiting: Ricky Slade runs for 328 yards, Taquan Roberson throws 6 touchdowns: Donohue [Land of 10] PSU defensive snap counts vs. Nebraska: Freshmen set new highs: Callahan [Lions 247] Penn State market report: Invest in Tommy Stevens, et al: Gross [Lancaster Online] Premium articles ($): Solomon Enis talks Penn State official visit: Wiltfong [Lions 247] Top247 DE Oweh highlights 'great' Penn State official: Wiltfong [Lions 247] [...]

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Saquon Barkley's big day, defensive hiccups, highlight the good, bad, and ugly from Penn State's latest win

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:00:00 UTC


The Lions toppled Nebraska 56-44 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Penn State led by 32 points on Saturday against Nebraska twice, yet somehow only managed to win by 12. Confused? It was an interesting afternoon at Beaver Stadium, as cold and rainy weather conditions did not cast a somber mood onto Senior Day for 23 graduating Nittany Lions, yet dark clouds hovered over the defense from time to time as Brent Pry's unit allowed the most points ever surrendered at the home venue in a 56-44 win over Nebraska. As always, the good, bad, and ugly review breaks it all down as a final chapter in last week's game. Then, it's onto Maryland, which sits on the horizon at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday. The regular season finale will air on Big Ten Network. The good Off the top, cool moment seeing Andrew Nelson and Brendan Mahon get a series together late in the game. Long, windy road for those two guys at PSU, and it was nice to see them go out that way. The line as a whole played as well as it has in weeks. It surrendered just two sacks and a pair of tackles for loss while helping push for a season-high 609 yards of total offense. This was in part due to some of the nastiness head coach James Franklin and his staff have been seeking, but part of the success too was an overmatched and often disinterested Cornhuskers team. Senior Mike Gesicki and DaeSean Hamilton each netted four catches, while Saquon Barkley got back on track to the tune of 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Juwan Johnson laid some more foundation for his future production with five catches for 105 yards. Tyler Davis was perfect on extra point tries, as well.  Defensively, Penn State's first-team unit surrendered just 77 yards in the first half when it all was in, though it did give up 10 points, mostly thanks to a shanked punt, over the course of 18 minutes and change on the field. Jason Cabinda, Brandon Smith, Grant Haley, and Christian Campbell all had a big moment in their final home game, and it was a plus to see Parker Cothren and Tyrell Chavis get in on a sack. Moving from the older guys trend, Tommy Stevens connecting with Nick Bowers on a late-game touchdown was good for both. It was Bowers' first catch and score, and Stevens continues to be electric every time he touches the ball.  The bad The second half, in a nut shell, will fill out this entire section. It was not pretty, as Penn State's backups were outscored 34-14 by the Nebraska starters and out gained 389 to 170. "In the second half, obviously it just kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth on offense and defense," Franklin said. "I didn't think we played up to our standards there at the end." Indeed they did not. It is true that most first-team units will dominate a counterpart's backups, but this was particularly alarming considering most of the guys on the field have been counted in key moments earlier in the year, and beyond that, PSU must replace at least seven defensive starters next year, and the group on the field is expected to make up for much of the production that will be lost. They did not on this night, though, as Tanner Lee found open receivers endlessly. The offense cannot be ignored here either, though; besides the aforementioned Stevens TD toss and an early Trace McSorley passing score to Gesicki, that side of the ball was not good, either. Hard to throw much more in here, though; when the game needed to be won early, it was. The ugly Two more kickoffs out of bounds from Tyler Davis sailed out of bounds, an 18-yard punt from Blake Gillikin, and an accidental touch on a punt by Zech McPhearson that gave Nebraska the ball back highlighted the special teams miscues. For a group that looked so good early on, it's become almost a net-neutral the last few weeks as opposed to a positive; the return game isn't much firing, the coverage teams can be sloppy, and the kicking has been usually go[...]

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Heisman Trophy rankings, Week 12: Baker Mayfield, Bryce Love and Saquon Barkley, then everyone else ... for now

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:45:00 UTC


The Heisman Trophy race will wrap up in two weeks. Will Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield hang on?

Scenes from Penn State Senior Day, 2017

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:30:34 UTC


Penn State honored 23 members of its senior class during a pregame ceremony on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.  Here's the list:

Penn State honored 23 members of its senior class during a pregame ceremony on Saturday at Beaver Stadium. 

Here's the list:

  • Safety Marcus Allen
  • Safety Troy Apke
  • Offensive lineman Brendan Brosnan
  • Receiver Saeed Blacknall
  • Linebacker Jason Cabinda
  • Corner Christian Campbell
  • Defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis
  • Defensive tackle Curtis Cothran
  • Defensive tackle Parker Cothren
  • Corner Desi Davis
  • Kicker Tyler Davis
  • Quarterback Billy Fessler
  • Tight end Mike Gesicki
  • Corner Grant Haley
  • Receiver DaeSean Hamilton
  • Receiver Cody Hodgens
  • Offensive lineman Brendan Mahon
  • Running back Josh McPhearson
  • Offensive lineman Andrew Nelson
  • Tight end Tom Pancoast
  • Punter Daniel Pasquariello
  • Linebacker Brandon Smith
  • Safety Mitchell Vallone

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Big Ten Power Poll: It's Bucky vs. Brutus for a possible College Football Playoff spot while PSU plays for a major bowl

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:45:03 UTC


The conference championship game is set even before the final weekend of games: West champion Wisconsin vs. East champion Ohio State in Indianapolis will determine who has a chance at a berth in the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Penn State plays at Maryland with a likely "New Years Six" bowl in Miami, Atlanta, Dallas or Phoenix on the line. Here's the stack, bottom to top.

Penn State opens as an 18-point favorite for regular season finale opposite Maryland

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 21:55:19 UTC


Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in College Park. Watch video

Penn State is an 18-point favorite for its regular season finale at Maryland next Saturday, according to BetOnline.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and the Big Ten Network will televise. 

The Nittany Lions are 7-4 against the number this year, and 9-2 overall after beating Nebraska last Saturday.

"There is going to be plenty on that tape to learn from and to grow from, but I'll be the first one to admit we didn't play up to our standards in the second half," head coach James Franklin said Saturday.

All-time, PSU owns a 37-2-1 advantage in its series with the Terps, who lost at Michigan State last weekend and are in the midst of a losing steak as injuries have piled up for head coach D.J. Durkin.


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Penn State's Jason Cabinda reflects on the legacy of senior class

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:00:00 UTC


Penn State's Jason Cabinda reflects on the legacy of senior class

Penn State's Jason Cabinda reflects on the legacy of senior class

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