It’s well known and celebrated that Penn State was a second-half team in 2016. Heading into a tougher schedule and now with a target on their backs, the Nittany Lions can’t afford to continue that trend.
Spectacular second-half wins make for great stories and better highlight reels. The clutch plays are what us as fans crave as we head into a new season. Re-living the emotions of that Saturday night (or afternoon) and imagining what could be the next year.
Yes, it’s great to look back on those moments fondly, but it’s smart to remember that most if not all of those moments nearly didn’t happen.
Marcus Allen jumps a split second too late, a couple of key passes are dropped, mixed in with a couple of other key plays going wrong, and the team could have easily finished 7-5 like most “experts” predicted.
Against Pitt, Penn State nearly came from behind but lost on a deep ball interception. After the game, Head Coach James Franklin talked about the importance of starting fast.
If the Penn State offense, which looks primed for a record-breaking season, can get on the board early and often, the team will genuinely be Unrivaled.
It’s even more important this year after such an incredible season. To use the clichéd phrase: the hunter has become the hunted. Every team the Lions match up against will be putting in 100% on every play.
How do we know the fourth quarter magic won’t run out? It didn’t quite stretch far enough to earn the win at the Rose Bowl. Taking that chance again wouldn’t be a good move.
I’m not saying that I think the team will do poorly this year, in fact I agree with everyone saying the record will most likely rival last year’s. Somewhere in the vicinity of 10-2 or 11-1 depending on if Penn State can fend off the pesky surprise loss that seems to pop up each year.
I do think that the second half will still be the stronger half for the Nittany Lions, but I believe it would be a season-threatening mistake if they can’t figure out how to improve out of the gate.
I was more than happy with the nearly 200 more points in the second half last year but let’s even that out some more. I’d also be alright with increasing the overall point total.
Not only would it be good for any possible playoff hopes, but it would be much better for Happy Valley’s blood pressure.
Here’s one more highlight to end the article with a smile. We Are!
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