Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
This Years Record: 4-4 (1-4) 6th in Big Ten East
Head Coach: James Franklin 1st Year at Penn State
Overall: 28-19 .596 (4th year)
At Penn State: 4-4
Bowls: 2-1 (With Vanderbilt)
Last Years Record: 7-5 (4-4) No Bowl Game due to Sanctions
Bowls Since 2000: 8 Appearances (4-4 Record)
Mascot: Nittany Lion
Colors: Blue and White
National Titles: 2
Conference Titles: 4
Heisman Winners: 1
Fun Fact: The team is only allowed to wear simple black Nike shoes with white calf socks for game days, though blue tights are permitted underneath the white socks for cold weather games.
1. Penn State’s Offensive Line is a Weak Link- Not only has the Penn State line given up 30 sacks this season, 16 in the last three games combined, but the Lions are being held to an ungodly 2.3 rushing yards per game. The fact that Penn State has so much trouble running the ball just puts more pressure on sophomore Christian Hackenberg and opens him up to more hits and pressure from the opponent.
2. Penn State’s Defense May Be the Best in the Big Ten- A stall mark of any Penn State team is a dominant defense and this year’s edition does not disappoint. PSU is giving up just 77.1 yards per game on the ground and 196.2 yards through the air. They have also forced 11 fumbles, recovering four of them, and nine interceptions. The defense is extremely aggressive and is led by senior linebacker Mike Hull, who leads the team with a whopping 92 tackles in 2014.
3. Christian Hackenberg is Feeling the Heat- Any quarterback would get antsy in the pocket if they have been sacked 30 times in just eight games. Hackenberg has looked rattled at times, as he has thrown for just seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing only 57 percent of his passes. Life is tough when there is no running game to ease off some of the pressure.
4. You Cannot Say Enough About Mike Hull- As mentioned above Mike Hull is the leader of this defense. He has 92 tackles, the next leading tackler on the team is Nyeem Wartman with 37. Hull has seven tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble on his stat sheet. Hoosier fans should keep an eye on Hull as he tries to stop Tevin Coleman. It will be a great matchup.