Why Penn State in 2017? The many, many reasons to be excited about the Lions in the fall
Penn State head coach James Franklin celebrates his team’s 24-21 win over Ohio State with athletic director Sandy Barbour at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 22, 2016. Joe Hermitt | email@example.com
Ohio State is getting a lot of love for its 2017 potential after making the national football playoffs last season (despite losing to Penn State). The Buckeyes return plenty of quality players and Urban Meyer’s team hosts PSU in late October. But Ohio State isn’t the only Big Ten conference squad with talent to burn heading into the fall.
James Franklin’s Nittany Lions also have the look of a deep, talented football team. The defending Big Ten champs lose a couple of defensive ends, outside linebacker Brandon Bell, center Brian Gaia, safety Malik Golden and little else. And Saquon Barkley is back, along with quarterback Trace McSorley, tight end Mike Gesicki, linebacker Jason Cabinda, corner Grant Haley and safety Marcus Allen. And PSU’s spring practice sessions were very productive, by all accounts.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer during the fourth quarter of the Nittany Lions’ 24-21 upset win over Ohio State at Beaver Stadium for the Ohio State game on Oct. 22, 2016. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, Ohio State will be a good team, and maybe the Buckeyes are the team to beat in the Big Ten in 2017. But the Lions are a more confident program after their 2016 upset of OSU at Beaver Stadium. And there are many reasons for Penn State fans to be excited about the fall, which begins with a Sept. 2 home date against Akron and then follows with potential score-settling matchup with Pittsburgh at Beaver Stadium. Here are some “reasons” to consider …