James Franklin has entered his 10th season as the Penn State Nittany Lions head coach. He currently holds a 79-36 record. Back in 2016, Franklin led his team to a Big Ten Title Game win in Indianapolis. They have had their fair share of great quarterbacks, and running backs during his tenure with Penn State. He uses a balanced attack of run/pass on offense and very stout defensive lines.
Penn State Head Coach James Franklin Since 2021
In 2021, the team finished with a 7-6 overall record, only going 4-5 in the conference. Penn State won five games in a row to start that season. After former quarterback Sean Clifford sustained an injury, the Nittany Lions won two more games during the COVID year.
Last season in 2022, the Nittany Lions lost three wide receivers, Jahan Dotson, Arnold Ebiketie, and Jaquan Brisker, to the NFL. But, they were able to have a winning season going 10-2. Their only losses were to Big Ten East foes in Michigan and Ohio State.
Penn State earned a berth in the Rose Bowl, beating the Utah Utes in Pasadena, California. The bowl game victory helped them end the season with an 11-2 record, and head coach James Franklin in winning his first-ever Rose Bowl Game.
The Nittany Lions in 2023
Penn State has lost its former quarterback Sean Clifford, who is now a backup for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. Coming into this season, Drew Allar is the new starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions. He has strong throwing ability and has already shown flashes of connection with his current wide receivers. Last Saturday, against West Virginia, he completed 21-29 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Sophomore running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 121 rushing yards, and one touchdown, as the two running backs split carries on offense.
Wide receiver Keandre Lambert-Smith was the top target, with four receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Malik McClain was the second-leading receiver with four catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.
The Nittany Lions’ defense was able to hold West Virginia to just 15 points at home last Saturday. Junior linebacker Curtis Jacobs led the team with seven solo tackles (10 total), and one sack. They did not get much production from the defensive line, but the secondary was able to get the job done in Week 1. The Mountaineers’ offense consisted of more passing, as they could not establish a run game in Happy Valley.
They combined for 45 solo tackles and had 20 assisted tackles as a whole. Surely, James Franklin will want to see more pressure, and pursuit from the defensive line going forward.
Big Ten East Race
With the toughest division being the Big Ten East, the Penn State Nittany Lions will do everything they can to compete, with the likes of Michigan and Ohio State sitting at the top in the last few seasons. Of course, the ultimate goal is winning the division, playing for a Big Ten Championship, and becoming National Champions. The truth is that it will be a hard-fought battle with the other two programs standing in the way of Penn State in the East Division. It will not be easy, but each team has to play one opponent at a time!
The Penn State Nittany Lions will face Delaware at home on September 10th. The game will kick off at Noon on Peacock!
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