Penn State Nittany Lions 2018-19: Predictions & Preview

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It is never easy replacing a top two pick in the NFL draft, but that is exactly what Penn State will face and succeed in their 2018 season. Sophomore Miles Sanders, the once top-rated running back in the 2016 class is ready to shine and possibly out-perform Barkley. Coach James Franklin has been one of the best recruiters in the country since he’s taken the job in Happy Valley, and it will be on full display more than ever in 2018. As a likely favorite in 11 of their 12 games, Penn State could finally find themselves in the college playoff by season’s end.

2018-2019 Summary

After a successful 2017 campaign, in part thanks to all-world running back Saquon Barkley, the Nittany Lions will look to build off their momentum and make a playoff push in 2018. The loss of Barkley hurts, but head coach James Franklin has done a brilliant recruiting job, and his team will be loaded yet again in 2018. Between star quarterback Trace McSorley, who will be one of the front-runners for the Heisman award, plus one of the best defenses in the country, Penn State will have a legitimate shot at a national championship. In the secondary, watch out for true sophomore Lamont Wade to make a significant impact this season.

After being assigned only to special teams duties during his freshman season, the explosive 5’9 cornerback will likely be the starting slot corner where his quickness and power will be a nightmare for all opposing wide receivers. The Big Ten always provides some challenges as one of the toughest conferences in the country, but if Franklin’s group can win at least one out of the two matchups with Michigan and Ohio State, his team should cruise to an 11-1 record plus a playoff birth.

Record: Wins 11, Losses 1

Week 1: Penn State 49, Appalachian State 17 (W)
Week 2: Penn State 27, Pitt 21 (W)
Week 3: Penn State 45, Kent State 13 (W)
Week 4: Penn State 35, Illinois 9 (W)
Week 5: Penn State 24, Ohio State 35 (L)
Week 6: Bye
Week 7: Penn State 31, Michigan State 23 (W)
Week 8: Penn State 38, Indiana 17 (W)
Week 9: Penn State 21, Iowa 17 (W)
Week 10: Penn State 24, Michigan 20 (W)
Week 11: Penn State 30, Wisconsin 21 (W)
Week 12: Penn State 45, Rutgers 20 (W)
Week 13: Penn State 35, Maryland 13 (W)

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