Just seven days removed from the nerve-wracking last-second win over Iowa, Penn State fans are hoping the stresses of 2016 don’t come back to bite them. Whether they can be explained away by first-away-game jitters or not, the Nittany Lions will look to put minds at rest.
Despite the close call in last week’s “trap game” Penn State shouldn’t be as worried about Indiana. Not only is the game back in Beaver Stadium, but Indiana has lost 19 of 20 to Penn State and their last 33 games against top five opponents.
That being said, streaks are always broken eventually. There are a few key points on the Hoosiers that the Nittany Lions will need to watch out for.
In Indiana’s 56-7 win over Georgia Southern last week Morgan Ellison picked up 186 yards and two touchdowns. Though the team only picked up 128 yards on the ground on 1.9 yards per carry in the first two games, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If Penn State’s defensive line keeps up the stellar performances they have churned out so far this season, Ellison won’t be a problem. Penn State’s defense leads the nation in tackles for loss with 41 and haven’t given up a point in the first quarter yet.
Penn State has outscored opponents 45-0 in the first quarter.
It seems to be a pattern that Penn State’s opponents have a great return man and a star linebacker. Akron has Quadree Henderson, Iowa has Josey Jewell, both were marked as key players and both were mostly stopped by Penn State.
The streak continues this week as Indiana has returner J-Shun Harris and wide receiver Simmie Cobbs. Harris has returned a punt for a touchdown in two straight games while Cobbs has the speed and talent to cause cornerbacks nightmares.
Generations of Greatness
This week Penn State is celebrating the football team’s past with special jerseys made up of different parts from different decades.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) September 26, 2017
As well as the new-old look, Beaver Stadium itself will be joining in on the festivities. Music from both the speakers and the Blue Band will be a mix of music from the 50’s to today. The videoboards will look as vintage as giant screens can look and the cheer and dance teams will be in uniforms their predecessors wore in the 1950’s.
Needless to say, while the Stadium will feel like it’s gone back in time, the Nittany Lions will be as modern and fun to watch as ever.