First the good news from State College. The Nittany Lions get Ohio State and Michigan State in back-to-back games at HOME. Coach James Franklin's offense will be led by quarterback Trace McSorley, who is the top returning QB in the Big Ten.
Now, the bad news. RB Saquon Barkley is gone, so is the entire defensive secondary and three prime time linebackers. And, the Nittany Lions are competing in the same division as Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. The Lions will also have to adjust to Ricky Rahne, who replaces Joe Moorhead as the new offensive coordinator[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Let's not go into the panic mode yet. There is Top 20 talent on the roster and compared to the other Big Ten East contenders, Penn State has a line up filled with veterans, led by McSorley who will be asked to do much more as the main offensive part AND Michigan and Ohio State have to come to Happy Valley.
But it will not be a day at the beach, starting with the games coming out of the chute--Appalachian State and Pitt can bite you if you are careless or sloppy.
Running back Milers Sanders will have to pick up after Barkley and he was the nation's top high school running back three years ago, but never got to show his skills because Barkley was ahead of them.
Best case scenario: emerge from the Big Ten East as the best of the group. Worst case: Lose a couple of games and have a double digit win season for the third straight season.[/membership]