Michaels: Penn State ranks 9th on preseason list

John Michaels will count down from 10 to 1 each day over the next two weeks...

John Michaels
August 02, 2018 - 9:31 am
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Moving on down the preseason top-10 list is a team that lost a bunch of talent, but has a great quarterback and a great coach who should keep them in the race.

Positives: Trace McSorley is a senior, and the team is all his. His stat line one season ago: 3,570 28-10. McSorely now must carry more of the weight with Saquon Barkley and DaeSean Hamilton gone to the NFL. The offense returns seven starters including four upper classman on the offensive line. Juwan Johnson had 54 catches in 2017, but must improve his touchdown numbers in 2018. Shareef Miller gave the Nittany Lions five sacks, and could be the leader on the defensive line.

Negatives: Only three starters are back on the defensive side of the ball. Who replaces Barkley’s home run ability will be a huge question mark.

Penn State gets Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin at home, but does travel to Michigan in early November. If the defense holds up the Nittany Lions have a good chance to be in the Big 10 championship game.