We’re now counting down the hours until kickoff ...
Sure, the opponent is Georgia State. But there are backups to scout, surprises to unearth and stats to rack up. So whatever you’re looking for, from a Penn State coverage angle, we’ve got you covered this Saturday:
Previews (Looking at the game from different angles)
Georgia State coach: No one in college football can tackle Saquon Barkley alone: Well, he’s not wrong ...
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Asking the Georgia State beat writer about the potential surprises in the Penn State football game: Georgia State doesn’t even stand a 1 percent chance to win this? Right? RIGHT?! We spoke with 247 Sports’ Ben Moore to ask him what the Nittany Lions can expect out of the Sun Belt opponent.
Podcast: SBarkey’s Hesiman chances, cheapening night games at Beaver Stadium, and more: Our weekly podcast “Airing It Out” features Josh Moyer getting on his soapbox about what a bad idea a night game against Georgia State is (c’mon, BTN), and John McGonigal analyzing where Penn State fits in to the big picture.
Here’s what you should keep an eye on in the Penn State-Georgia State football game: Streaks, Tommy Stevens, point spreads and more.
Not-so-secret weapon: Barkley actually starting kick returner ‘from the beginning’: Did you realize that Barkley was the No. 1 kick returner from Day 1? You didn’t? Then Franklin’s plan worked perfectly.
Features (Getting to know the Nittany Lions)
‘He’s someone you want your own son to be like’: Saquon Barkley’s hometown, high school embracing the once-in-a-generation talent: The junior running back is undoubtedly a special player but, back in his hometown and former high school, he’s also remembered for being a special person. Get to know Saquon Barkley off the field with this story.
Penn State commit Keaton Ellis propels State College football to blowout win: The 2019 commit, who pledged a week ago, had a game to remember on Friday night — and he showed yet again just why James Franklin and Co. were so high on him so early.
Penn State football giving a ‘WHOOP’ about new electronic wristbands: “What’s nice is if they aren’t sleeping and they are up too late, I can tap in and my face pops up and I can yell at them to go to sleep.” OK, OK — Franklin was just kidding. But it’s no joke that this has actually been really beneficial to PSU players.
Penn State OL Steven Gonzalez bolstered by changed outlook on life: After his father’s death, he kind of fell back on a “lone wolf” mentality. But he’s grown a lot in the last year, and that’s helped him on and off the field.
Penn State football’s Mike Gesicki explains origin of his ‘train’ celebration: Yes, there’s a clear reasoning behind it. You probably won’t be surprised to learn it’s all about a chip that stays on Gesicki’s shoulder.
Freshmen now earning their stripes: It’s part of a new tradition; a Nittany Lion must earn his stripes. Here’s more about it, and who’s earned them so far.
Penn State’s cornerbacks playing at an ‘elite’ level this season: They’ve already grabbed several interceptions, and that hasn’t been by accident.
Assistant coach Terry Smith raves about ‘grandpa of the room’ in Grant Haley: How important is the senior cornerback? “He’s what makes us go.”
Penn State freshman Damion Barber has ‘handled his business’ in first month on-campus: Teammate Torrence Brown already gets the sense that Barber could be a special player once he sees the field.
Former Penn State TE Mickey Shuler Jr. reflects on nomadic NFL career, Nittany Lions’ Gesicki: In this week’s edition of “Five Questions,” Shuler Jr. talked about how the tight end position has evolved, along with a lot of other things.
Miscellaneous (Other PSU stuff you might be interested in)
2020, 2021 schedules nearly set: Penn State will open up the 2021 season against Wisconsin. Yikes.
Jordan Norwood retires: Former coach, teammates recall ‘unassuming’ star at State College, Penn State: We spoke to former teammates and a former coach on what made Norwood unique and how he’ll be remembered.
From State College to Denver: Looking at ‘underdog’ Jordan Norwood’s career through the years: A timeline, with photos, from Norwood’s career in State College to Penn State to the NFL.
State College’s Jordan Norwood retires from the NFL: Our news story on Norwood’s retirement, complete with his lengthy essay on his career. (Reprinted from Norwood with permission.)
Predictions (For Penn State-Georgia State and elsewhere in the Big Ten)
Georgia State at No. 5 Penn State
Josh Moyer: Penn State 45-0
John McGonigal: Penn State 56-3
Gordon Brunskill: Penn State 55-7
Ryne Gery: Penn State 56-3
Nate Cobler: Penn State 63-0
Air Force at No. 7 Michigan
Josh Moyer: Michigan 34-10
John McGonigal: Michigan 38-7
Gordon Brunskill: Michigan 38-17
Ryne Gery: Michigan 28-7
Nate Cobler: Michigan 38-0
Northern Illinois at Nebraska
Josh Moyer: Nebraska 41-27
John McGonigal: Nebraska 38-10
Gordon Brunskill: Nebraska 38-18
Ryne Gery: Nebraska 49-10
Nate Cobler: Nebraska 28-17
No. 10 Wisconsin at BYU
Josh Moyer: Wisconsin 38-17
John McGonigal: Wisconsin 35-6
Gordon Brunskill: Wisconsin 31-30
Ryne Gery: Wisconsin 24-7
Nate Cobler: Wisconsin 31-20
Middle Tennessee at Minnesota
Josh Moyer: Minnesota 30-20
John McGonigal: Minnesota 27-17
Gordon Brunskill: Minnesota 28-17
Ryne Gery: Minnesota 21-10
Nate Cobler: Minnesota 23-13
Northern Texas at Iowa
Josh Moyer: Iowa 45-21
John McGonigal: Iowa 31-0
Gordon Brunskill: Iowa 34-13
Ryne Gery: Iowa 38-13
Nate Cobler: Iowa 31-17
Morgan State at Rutgers
Josh Moyer: Rutgers 45-7
John McGonigal: Rutgers 42-3
Gordon Brunskill: Morgan State 6-4
Ryne Gery: Rutgers 28-3
Nate Cobler: Rutgers 17-10
Purdue at Missouri
Josh Moyer: Purdue 41-38
John McGonigal: Missouri 48-41
Gordon Brunskill: Missouri 34-31
Ryne Gery: Missouri 35-31
Nate Cobler: Purdue 45-38
Army at No. 8 Ohio State
Josh Moyer: Ohio State 45-17
John McGonigal: Ohio State 20-10
Gordon Brunskill: Ohio State 38-10
Ryne Gery: Ohio State 49-10
Nate Cobler: Ohio State 45-7
Bowling Green at Northwestern
Josh Moyer: Northwestern 34-13
John McGonigal: Northwestern 42-27
Gordon Brunskill: Northwestern 24-20
Ryne Gery: Northwestern 42-14
Nate Cobler: Northwestern 33-13