What You Need to Know: Penn State V. Kent State
Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye on, and when and where you can catch the Nittany Lions on fall Saturdays this season.
Need-to-Know Details: vs. Kent State/3:30 p.m./BTN
Weather Forecast (via AccuWeather): Sunny and pleasant, high of 74 degrees
The Line: Penn State -21.5
All-Time Series: Penn State leads 4-0
Last Time They Met (2013): Penn State won 34-0 in a monsoon of a game at Beaver Stadium. Literally. In nonstop rain, the Lions scored in every quarter while dominating their MAC opponent. Christian Hackenberg threw for 176 yards and a touchdown, Akeel Lynch rushed 14 times for 123 yards, and Allen Robinson caught three passes for 43 yards.
Penn State wins if: Things go even close according to plan.
Kent State wins if: The Blue Buses get lost on the way to Beaver Stadium.
Count on: Great tailgating before a fantastic game. Trace McSorley gets his first start at quarterback after seeing significant playing time in last season’s TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia. The playbook will likely be scaled back a bit, but expect new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead to give McSorley at least a few opportunities to show off his arm. The offseason is longer for the players than anybody else, and the vibe is that McSorley and Moorhead are ready to go.
Keep an eye on: Saquon Barkley. Chances are good that the sophomore running back will do something everyone will be talking about next week. And after hearing him speak a few times this offseason, it’s clear he’s ready to return to the field —especially Beaver Stadium — and do what he does best.
Trivia tidbit of the week: Penn State ranks eighth all-time with 856 victories. The seven teams ahead of the Lions, from No. 1: Michigan (925), Notre Dame (899), Texas (886), Nebraska (880), Ohio State (875), Alabama (864) and Oklahoma (861). And the two teams that round out the Top 10? Tennessee (820) and USC (813).
Prediction: Penn State, 31-13.
Penn State football is back. Hope everyone enjoys the season as much as we will.