Selfless running backs fuel Penn State's ground attack


UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State’s rushing attack posted some big-time numbers last season. Even so, these stats still pop: 

While trouncing Maryland 38-14 for a Homecoming victory, Saquon Barkley racked up a career-high 202 rushing yards, helping the Lions reach a total of 372 yards on the ground—the most for Penn State against an FCS or Big Ten team since 2002 and the third-highest total ever against a Big Ten opponent. 

Penn State football: Notes from Practice

UNIVERSITY PARK — Less than two weeks into Penn State's fall practice, and things haven't changed much this season, in terms of approach and philosophy.

For the Nittany Lions, that's a good thing.

BTN visited Happy Valley on Wednesday as part of its conference tour; between the on-set visit and media day earlier this month, head coach James Franklin has reiterated that his message hasn't changed much coming off an 11-win season and Big Ten title. 

But things are still moving forward, and with that in mind, here are a few items from this week’s practice.

Penn State football: By the numbers

UNIVERSITY PARK — With Penn State’s season opener still a few months away, we thought now is a good time to break down some of the numbers from Penn State’s memorable 2016 season.

Some you may know, some you may not (we learned a few things working on this story, too). Also included is some info from the off-season, and what fans can look forward to this year.

107,280: Beaver Stadium attendance for the victory over then-No. 2 Ohio State; more than 100,000 fans attended four of the Lions’ home games (Temple, Maryland, Iowa).

A look at Gesicki's record-breaking season (and how it happened)

UNIVERSITY PARK — It’s not that Mike Gesicki isn't aware of what’s happening around him, it’s that he doesn’t care. Or more specifically, he doesn't let it stop him.

Here’s the scenario that unfolded late in Penn State’s win over Michigan State last November, the victory that clinched the Big Ten East Division:

Gesicki, a New Jersey native and senior tight end for the Penn State football team, slipped behind the Spartan secondary, tracking toward the Beaver Stadium south end zone.

Penn State's 2017 home games: Ranked

There are just a few more Saturdays to go before Beaver Stadium is packed with fans cheering on the Blue and White. With Media Day officially in the books, the countdown is on.

The 2017 home schedule is loaded with plenty of familiar faces.

Let’s take a closer look at the seven games on Penn State’s schedule and rank the games, from worst to first.

Hitting the road: Penn State's schedule is loaded

After a scintillating run through the Big Ten last season and a Big Ten Championship, the expectations for the 2017 Penn State Nittany Lions are already through the roof.

Led by their Heisman Trophy contender running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley, the Nittany Lions are poised to make another run at the Big Ten Championship Game and the College Football Playoff. Last season, Penn State’s only two losses in its magical regular season came on the road, and they fell just shy of a spot in the four-team playoff.

Looking Back at Beaver Stadium’s Top Moments from 2016

Fans can look forward to plenty of highlights during the upcoming season at Beaver Stadium. Before that, though, let’s look back at the top moments from last year.

From late-game comebacks to late-season domination, the Nittany Lions completed perhaps the most memorable home season in program history.

Opening Game Pick-6

Heisman! Trophy Factors for Barkley and McSorley

Momentum had been building all of last season. Big games led to big performances, and plenty of wins — nine straight, in fact, for the Penn State football team. The country began taking notice, and along with that, standout running back Saquon Barkley entered the Heisman Trophy conversation.

After the team’s dismantling of Iowa in early November at Beaver Stadium, here’s what Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley said about Barkley and the lofty honor:

Over/Under: Saquon Barkley Gaining 2,088 Rushing Yards This Season

Through the summer, we’ll pose over/under scenarios for the upcoming Penn State football season and share our prediction. We also want to hear from you. Tag us on social media (@HappyValleyPSU) and let us know what you think.

Next up: Saquon Barkley finishing the season with 2,088 rushing yards, one more yard than the Penn State single-season record that Larry Johnson set in 2002.

Why you should take the over

Get Your Nittany Lions Football Posters!

Penn State football posters will become available July 11th and fans can pick them up at multiple locations in State College as well as in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and D.C. Posters will be distributed in State College by members of the football team downtown from 6-7 p.m.; there will also be Poster Pick Up Parties hosted by the Nittany Lion Club and Penn State Alumni Association. 


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