Nittany Notes: Breaking down PSU-Georgia State
UNIVERSITY PARK – Headed to the game this weekend? Well, you probably don’t know much about Penn State’s opponent, Georgia State. Here are some facts about the Nittany Lions’ final non-conference opponent of the season.
WHO DEY?: Where is Georgia State, anyway? The school is located in Atlanta. But the Panthers are not known for their football, clearly.
PAYDAY: Penn State is paying Georgia State $1.2 million to make the trip to Happy Valley.
THEIR RECORD: The Panthers roll into Beaver Stadium at 0-1. In their lone game of the season, they fell to Tennessee State, 17-10. The fact that they were only able to put up 10 points against a middle-of-the-road team like Tennessee State is not a good sign. This should be an easy evening for the Nittany Lions.
BIG SPREAD: Penn State is favored by as much as 39 points – depending where you look. That’s a lot of points, but it’s also an indicator of just how bad Georgia State is.
PANTHERS TO WATCH: Georgia State has some talent – that much is for sure. The Panthers’ QB is senior Conner Manning. Last season, he passed for 2,684 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His top targets will be Todd Boyd and Glenn Smith, though they combined for just 29 yards on three receptions in the 17-10 loss. In the backfield, watch for Taz Bateman, a strong runner who also can also catch the ball coming out the backfield.
WALKING ON SUNSHINE: According to AccuWeather.com, Saturday should be perfect. There’s no rain in the forecast and the high on Saturday afternoon will be a sun-splashed 77. After the sun sets, expect temperatures to drop into the 60s. All in all, a perfect night for football.
WILL HE OR WON’T HE (RUN IT UP)?: Following a workman-like 33-14 win over Pitt, look for James Franklin and Penn State to try to light up the scoreboard on Saturday. While he certainly won’t put key players like QB Trace McSorley and RB Saquon Barkley in danger by keeping them in when it’s a rout, look for the Lions to put up points by the bushel. Expect the Lions to score in the 50- to 70-point range.