Penn State football 2018, by the Numbers
By JOHN PATISHNOCK
UNIVERSITY PARK — It’s been an exciting season for Penn State football so far, with the Nittany Lions thrilling fans with plenty of highlights and big plays.
Check out some of the standout numbers through the early part of the 2018 season, and let us know which numbers stand out to you. Tag us on social media — @HappyValleyPSU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — with your favorite numbers this season.
106,707: average attendance for Penn State in 2017, which is good for third-best in the nation.
106,528: attendance for Penn State’s game against Kent State.
105,232: attendance for Penn State’s game against Appalachian State, the highest for a home opener since 2008.
93,685: the amount of dollars raised this summer during Lift for Life, the team’s annual fundraiser that benefits Uplifting Athletes, with a commitment to rare disease research. The 16-year total for Lift for Life now stands at nearly $1.4 million.
68,400: attendance for Penn State’s game at Pitt.
6,300-plus: number of new season tickets sold for 2018.
643: offensive yards against Kent State, the most by the Nittany Lions since totaling 661 yards against Rutgers in 1995.
118: rushing yards for Miles Sanders against Pitt; the junior registered his first career 100-yard game against the Panthers on 16 carries.
101: receiving yards by DeAndre Thompkins against Kent State, moving his career receiving total to 1,017 yards. He’s the 31st player in program history to reach 1,000-plus receiving yards.
100: number of first-team All-Americans in program history.
95: the amount of new TVs added to, in and around Beaver Stadium before the season started. The additions were part of fan enhancements put in place, feature HD quality, and are larger than the previous TVs. The screens also feature a graphic that provides in-game statistics and other information.
95-yard touchdown pass from Sean Clifford to Daniel George against Kent State; the connection broke the record for longest play from scrimmage in program history.
84 percent all-time graduation rate.
65: number of Academic All-Americans, second-best in the nation.
58: number of seasons that Penn State has played in Beaver Stadium, which opened in 1960. It’s the nation’s second-largest facility and boasts a capacity of 106,572.
54: rushing yards by Trace McSorley against Kent State, pushing him over 1,000 career rushing yards (1,042). He’s the second Penn State quarterback to exceed 1,000 rushing yards and the 44th Nittany Lion overall to reach the marl.
48: all-time bowl appearances for Penn State, which is tied for ninth-best in the country.
45: victory margin for Penn State over Pitt (51-6); the margin was the largest in the series since a 52-point win (65-9) over the Panthers in 1968.
39-yard punt return for a touchdown by DeAndre Thompkins against Pitt; the senior also returned a punt for a score against Akron last season.
36: years it had been since Penn State last played a regular season game on a Friday; the Nittany Lions battled Illinois earlier this season on a Friday night in Champaign.
35: number of football student-athletes who earned Academic All-Big Ten in 2017; the number is a program best and helps comprise the overall total of 424 football student-athletes who’ve earned the honor since 1993. The distinction is awarded to players who earn at least a 3.0 GPA and being a letter winner.
34: number of Nittany Lions who were on NFL rosters at the beginning of the season. The Penn Staters were represented across 21 NFL squads.
33: consecutive games (through this season’s first five games) in which McSorley has thrown a touchdown pass. It’s the longest current streak in the FBS and a school record.
31: number of players who made their first appearance for Penn State through the team’s first three games.
31: number of times Penn State has claimed the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, awarded annually to the best team in the east.
29: all-time bowl game victories for Penn State, which is tied for fourth-best in the country.
27-yard touchdown run by true freshman Ricky Slade against Appalachian State.
26: numbers of seasons for Penn State in Big Ten play; the Nittany Lions have won conference championships in 1994, 2005, 2008, and 2016.
17: players who made their first appearance during the team’s opener against Appalachian State.
15: tackles for loss against Kent State, the most by Penn State since the Nittany Lions also had 15 TFLs against Temple in 2015.
13: number of starters that Penn State returns this year (eight offensive, three defensive, and two specialists).
13: number of undefeated seasons in program history.
9: current FBS head coaches, including James Franklin, who’ve led their team to a bowl game in each of his first seven seasons as head coach.
8: number of teams, including Penn State, to have a winning record in each of the last 13 seasons. The other squads are Florida State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, USC, Boise State, and LSU.
8: number of former Penn Staters on NFL coaching staffs at the beginning of the season.
7: number of players who scored touchdowns for Penn State in the Nittany Lions’ 63-10 victory against Kent State.
7: true freshmen who played against Kent State, bringing the season total of true freshmen who’ve played to 15 (through the first three games).
6: number of Penn State opponents which played in a bowl game last season.
4: number of upcoming non-conference opponents announced by the team in late August. Penn State will battle in-state foes Villanova (2021 and 2025) and Temple (2026 and 2027), and also host Central Michigan (2022) and Delaware (2023 and 2027).
4: number of Penn State on the 2019 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. Bobby Engram, Jeff Hartings, and Steve Wisniewski; the three Nittany Lions helped lead the program to unbeaten and championship seasons, and are joined by former student-athlete Glenn Killinger, who was inducted as a player in 1966. Killinger is on the ballot for the divisional coach class.
2: the number of 52-yard kickoff returns by KJ Hamler this season, against Appalachian State and Kent State.