Penn State bounced back at home last week following two devastating losses — and now the Nittany Lions have another opportunity to prove the past is behind them.
After a weird 35-9 win over Rutgers, No. 10 Penn State hosts floundering Nebraska at 4 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
The Nittany Lions, according to S&P+ analytical ratings, have an 89 percent chance to beat the Cornhuskers. ESPN’s FPI gives Nebraska only a 3.0 percent chance. Will Nebraska pull off a stunning upset? Or can Penn State keep the train moving toward a New Year’s Six bowl?
Whatever you’re looking for, from a Penn State coverage angle, we’ve got you covered right here:
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Previews (Looking at the game from different angles)
23 seniors preparing for final home game: When the names are announced off and they walk out of the tunnel — Marcus Allen, Jason Cabinda, Christian Campbell, Mike Gesicki, Grant Haley, DaeSean Hamilton, the list goes on — there’ll be tears shed and heads shaking. Saturday is about celebrating the past and savoring the present.
What to watch for: From Tanner Lee's status to Saquon Barkley record watch, here are five things to keep an eye on Saturday.
Scouting the opponent: A Q&A with Parker Gabriel, the Cornhuskers' beat writer from the Lincoln Journal Star, breaking down Nebraska.
Manny Bowen will not play: Bowen, a junior linebacker, missed last weekend’s 35-6 win over Rutgers due to a violation of team rules. Senior Brandon Smith is expected to start in Bowen’s place at the “Will” position.
Analysis of Penn State's College Football Playoff ranking: How the Nittany Lions got to No. 10, their Orange Bowl outlook and Week 12 rooting interests.
Franklin reacts to Vilma's tipping play claim: Vilma said Friday on The Russillo Show that he first noticed Penn State’s offensive line tipping a run or pass play in the Northwestern game, a 31-7 win on Oct. 7. “I still think we’re averaging 31 points per game,” Franklin said of his offense, which actually ranks 17th nationally with 37.7 points per game. “If everyone knew what we were doing with most of our plays, I think we’d be scoring a lot less than that.”
Features (Getting to know the Nittany Lions)
Exploring the roots of Marcus Allen's legacy: The Penn State safety is bound for the NFL, and those in Maryland’s Prince George County can’t help but celebrate one of their area’s favorite success stories. "The type of kid he is, he’s shooting for the moon.”
Mike Gesicki reflective with Senior Day approaching: Everyone knows Gesicki’s story. In his own words, everybody’s heard it “100,000 times.” But Gesicki — a projected second- or third-round pick in April’s NFL draft, depending on where you look — was basking in the memories, good and bad.
DaeSean Hamilton's work ethic leaves lasting impression: The Nittany Lions' leader all-time in receptions would run routes at 6 a.m. on the practice field. He’d catch balls on the Jugs machine, sometimes 100, or 200 with a teammate. “He really set an example for guys that if you keep working and make the best of every day,” quarterback Trace McSorley said.
Tariq Castro-Fields growing at corner: The true freshman turning heads in a gradually increasing role has assistant coach Terry Smith's attention.
Joey Julius shares experience with eating disorder: The former Penn State kicker, who came out publicly a year ago with the admission he suffers from binge-eating disorder, addressed nearly a full Freeman Auditorium as part of Penn State’s Mental Health and Wellness Week. His candid 10-minute discussion led to a standing ovation.
5 Questions with Chris Godwin: Godwin — Penn State’s leading receiver a year ago and now a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — started in place of suspended wideout Mike Evans on Sunday. The Delaware native recorded five catches on 10 targets for 68 yards in a 15-10 win over the New York Jets. He discussed Sunday’s showing, DaeSean Hamilton’s success, Hard Knocks and more.
Miscellaneous (Other PSU stuff you might be interested in)
Time announced for Penn State-Maryland: Penn State’s regular-season finale has a kick time set. Sort of. The Nittany Lions face Maryland at either 3:30 or 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 25 at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.
Season ticket prices raising: For the first time since 2009, the cost of season football tickets has increased. Season tickets for all seats in Beaver Stadium will now cost an additional $35, or $5 per game.
Predictions (For Penn State-Nebraska and elsewhere in the Big Ten)
Nebraska at No. 10 Penn State, 4 p.m. FS1
Josh Moyer: Penn State 41-17
John McGonigal: Penn State 45-21
Ryne Gery: Penn State 31-14
Gordon Brunskill: Penn State 45-13
Nate Cobler: Penn State 40-13
No. 24 Michigan at No. 5 Wisconsin, noon FOX
Josh Moyer: Wisconsin 24-17
John McGonigal: Michigan 28-27
Ryne Gery: Wisconsin 28-10
Gordon Brunskill: Michigan 22-21
Nate Cobler: Wisconsin 20-13
Minnesota at No. 23 Northwestern, noon BTN
Josh Moyer: Northwestern 28-24
John McGonigal: Northwestern 31-14
Ryne Gery: Northwestern 24-13
Gordon Brunskill: Northwestern 24-20
Nate Cobler: Northwestern 33-23
Rutgers at Indiana, noon
Josh Moyer: Indiana 31-21
John McGonigal: Indiana 27-3
Ryne Gery: Indiana 35-17
Gordon Brunskill: Indiana 34-13
Nate Cobler: Indiana 50-38
Illinois at No. 9 Ohio State, 3:30 p.m. ABC
Josh Moyer: Ohio State 45-3
John McGonigal: Ohio State 63-0
Ryne Gery: Ohio State 38-7
Gordon Brunskill: Ohio State 41-6
Nate Cobler: Ohio State 38-13
Purdue at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. BTN
Josh Moyer: Iowa 34-24
John McGonigal: Iowa 24-14
Ryne Gery: Iowa 28-17
Gordon Brunskill: Iowa 27-17
Nate Cobler: Iowa 20-7
Maryland at No. 17 Michigan State, FOX
Josh Moyer: Michigan State 27-20
John McGonigal: Michigan State 34-10
Ryne Gery: Michigan State 35-21
Gordon Brunskill: Michigan State 24-14
Nate Cobler: Michigan State 24-14
Overall records: Ryne Gery 63-18, Josh Moyer 62-19, John McGonigal 62-19, Nate Cobler 61-20, Gordon Brunskill 61-20