2018 PENN STATE FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: JAMES FRANKLIN ( 36 – 17)

CAREER RECORD: 60 – 32

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Ricky Rahne

DEFENSIVE COORDINATORS: Brent Pry, Tim Banks

STADIUM: Beaver Stadium (106,572)

 

2018 SCHEDULE

September 1 Appalachian State

September 8 at Pittsburgh

September 15 Kent State

September 21 at Illinois

September 29 Ohio State

October 13 Michigan State

October 20 at Indiana

October 27 Iowa

November 3 at Michigan

November 10 Wisconsin

November 17 at Rutgers

November 24 Maryland

 

2017 RESULTS

Akron 52 – 0

Pittsburgh 33 – 14

Georgia State 56 – 0

Iowa 21 – 19

Indiana 45 – 14

Northwestern 31 – 7

Michigan 42 – 13

Ohio State 38 – 39

Michigan State 24 – 27

Rutgers 35 – 6

Nebraska 56 – 44

Maryland 66 – 3

Washington 35 – 28

 

2017 TEAM OFFENSIVE STATS

SCORING: 41.1

RUSHING: 170.2

PASSING: 290.2

TOTAL OFFENSE: 460.3

 

2017 TEAM DEFENSIVE STATS

Scoring: 16.5

RUSHING: 118.0

PASSING: 211.5

TOTAL: 329.5

 

FIVE – YEAR WINNING TREND

2013: 7 – 5

2014: 7 – 6

2015: 7 – 6

2016: 11 – 3

2017: 11 – 2

 

RETURNING STARTERS OFFENSE: 8

RETURNING STARTERS DEFENSE: 2

 

RETURNING LEADERS

PASSING: Trace McSorley, 284 – 427 –3,570 – 28TD – 10INT

RUSHING: Trace McSorley, 144 – 491 – 11TD

RECEIVING: Juwan Johnson, 54 – 701 – 1TD

TACKLES: Koa Farmer, 48

SACKS: Shareef Miller, 5.0

INTERCEPTIONS: Amani Oruwariyi, 4

 

TOP 10 RECRUITS

Micah Parsons, ATH Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Justin Shorter, WR Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

Ricky Slade, RB Woodbridge, Virginia

Rasheed Walker, OT Waldorf, Maryland

Jayson Oweh, DT Howell, New Jersey

PJ Mustipher, DT Owings Mills, Maryland

Nana Asiedu , OT Stafford, Virginia

Zach Kuntz, TE Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Jahan Dotson, WR Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Pat Freiermuth TE Merrimac, Massachusetts

 

OFFENSE PREVIEW

Penn State loss perhaps one of their best players on offense when Saquon Barkley left for the NFL. He wasn’t the only impact player the Nittany Lions had in 2017. Quarterback Trace McSorley led the conference in passing at 274.6 yards per game, and he is back for another season. His completion rate increased in 2017 to 66.5% as he threw for over 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns.

McSorley will have a nice target in Juwan Johnson. Johnson is 6’4” and 229 pounds, and finished second on the team with 54 receptions for 701 yards as a sophomore. McSorley will miss Barkley but will have junior Miles Sanders in the backfield. Sanders averaged 6.7 yards per carry as a backup. Sanders will be joined by seniors Mark Allen and Johnathan Thomas. Redshirt freshman Journey Brown and true freshman Ricky Slade will also compete for carries. For starters return on the Line Including center Connor McGovern and left guard Stephen Gonzalez. Will Fries will start at left tackle with Ryan Bates at right tackle.

 

DEFENSE PREVIEW

With only two starters returning the Lions have some rebuilding to do as they will have to find two new starters at defensive tackle and two inside linebacker positions. Juniors Kevin Givens and Robert Windsor filled backup roles in 2017 and now appear ready to take over a starting spot this season. Penn State may have to ask some of their freshman to step up and make an early impact. Five – star defensive end Micah Parsons has been moved to middle linebacker because of the lack of depth at that position. Since his arrival the Lions moved him to the Will outside position. Redshirt freshman Ellis Brooks appears ready to take over in the middle. Koa Farmer is the lone returning starter at outside linebacker.

Penn State led the Big Ten with an average of 3.2 sacks per game in 2017. They were led by Shareef Miller who had a team-best five sacks.

The secondary appears to be deep despite the loss of all four starters. Senior corner Amani Oruwariye led the team with four interceptions last season and will be joined by John Reid who was a starter in 2016 before missing last season with a knee injury. Garrett Taylor and Nick Scott will be the starting safeties.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Blake Gillikin is one of the best punters in the Big Ten. He averaged 43.0 yards per kick, which ranks second in school history. The kicking game may be a different story with redshirt freshman walk – on Carson Landis as the only kicker on campus this past spring. He will battle with scholarship freshman Jake Pinegar and walk-ons Rafael Checa and Vlad Hilling.

 

PREDICTION

Penn State may have the most inexperienced of any Big Ten East contenders. McSorley will be the key to their offense in 2018. They should score points, but the lack of experience on defense could make things very interesting for Penn State this season. That could determine whether this team can earn its third straight New Year’s Six bowl berth.

 

PROJECTED RECORD: 9 – 3, 6 – 3 Big Ten

 

2018 ROSTER

 

8             Mark Allen          RB          GS/SR    5-6/187 Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha Catholic

41           Joe Arcangelo    TE/H      SR/JR     6-4/253 Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights

90           Damion Barber  DT          SO/FR    6-3/278 Harrisburg/Harrisburg, Pa.

52           Ryan Bates          OL          SR/JR     6-4/305 Warrington, Pa./Archbishop Wood

83           Nick Bowers       TE/H      SR/JR     6-4/265 Kittanning, Pa./Kittanning Senior

13           Ellis Brooks         LB           SO/FR    6-1/234 Mechanicsville, Va./Benedictine College Prep

6             Cam Brown         LB           JR/JR     6-5/222 Burtonsville, Md./Bullis School

24           DJ Brown             CB          SO/FR    5-10/181             College Park, Ga./Creekside

32           Journey Brown  RB          SO/FR    5-11/197             Meadville, Pa./Meadville

19           Torrence Brown               DE          SR/SR    6-3/257 Tuscaloosa, Ala./Tuscaloosa Academy

97           Ryan Buchholz   DE          SR/JR     6-6/264 Malvern, Pa./Great Valley

20           Jabari Butler       CB          SR/JR     5-11/182             Potomac, Md./Bishop Gorman (Nev.)

94           Joe Calcagno      SN          SO/FR    6-0/239 Elmhurst, Ill./Fenwick

5             Tariq Castro-Fields           CB          SO/SO   6-0/186 Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist School

50           Max Chizmar      LB           SO/FR    6-2/207 Mars, Pa./Mars Area

14           Sean Clifford      QB          SO/FR    6-2/211 Cincinnati, Ohio/Saint Xavier

33           Jake Cooper        LB           SR/SR    6-1/235 Doylestown, Pa./Archbishop Wood

88           Judge Culpepper DT        FR/FR    6-4/275 Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant

80           Danny Dalton     TE/H      JR/SO    6-4/245 Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield

41           Dae’Lun Darien  LB           JR/SO    6-4/212 Baltimore, Md./Dunbar

39           Frank Di Leo       LB           SR/JR     5-9/223 Elmhurst, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep

95           Donnell Dix         DE          SR/SR    5-10/225             Salisbury, Md./Wicomico

45           Joe DuMond       DE          JR/SO    5-11/243             Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep

40           Nick Eury             RB          JR/SO    5-9/211 Shavertown, Pa./Lake-Lehman

25           Brelin Faison-Walden LB               SO/FR    6-1/212 Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley

7             Koa Farmer         LB           GS/SR    6-1/236 Lake View Terrace, Calif./Notre Dame

44           Brailyn Franklin  DE          SO/FR    6-2/204 Arlington, Texas/Battlefield (Va.)

87           Pat Freiermuth   TE/H      FR/FR    6-5/250 Merrimac, Mass./Brooks School

71           Will Fries             OL          JR/SO    6-6/305 Cranford, N.J./Cranford

51           Alex Gellerstedt OL          JR/SO    6-6/301 Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman

93           Blake Gillikin       P/K         JR/JR     6-2/192 Smyrna, Ga./The Westminster Schools

30           Kevin Givens       DT          SR/JR     6-1/275 Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area

74           Steven GonzalezOL          SR/JR     6-4/336 Union City, N.J./Union City

19           Trent Gordon     CB          FR/FR    5-11/181             Spring, Texas/Manvel

99           Yetur Gross-Matos          DE          SO/SO   6-5/257 Spotsylvania, Va./Chancellor

1             KJ Hamler            WR         SO/FR    5-9/172 Pontiac, Mich./IMG Academy (Fla.)

53           Fred Hansard      DT          SO/FR    6-3/315 Burlington, N.J./The Hun School

37           Drew Hartlaub   S             SO/FR    5-11/177             Hanover, Pa./South Western

12           Mac Hippenhammer WR              SO/FR    5-11/170             Fort Wayne, Ind./R. Nelson Snider

83           Alex Hoenstine   WR         SO/FR    6-1/181 East Freedom, Pa./Central

18           Jonathan Holland             TE/H      SR/JR     6-4/247 Brandywine, Md./The Bullis School

75           Des Holmes        OL          SO/FR    6-5/306 Norristown, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara

2             Isaiah Humphries S          FR/FR    6-0/191 Rowlett, Texas/Sachse

76           Sterling Jenkins  OL          SR/JR     6-8/343 Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin

3             Donovan Johnson CB      SO/FR    5-9/185 Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech

36           Jan Johnson        LB           SR/JR     6-2/236 Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin

84           Juwan Johnson  WR         SR/JR     6-4/229 Glassboro, N.J./Glassboro

42           Ellison Jordan     DT          JR/SO    6-0/295 Upper Marlboro, Md./Gilman School

49           Daniel Joseph     DE          JR/SO    6-3/248 Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Lake Forest Academy (Ill.)

68           Hunter Kelly       OL/DL    JR/SO    6-2/299 Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy

82           Zack Kuntz           TE/H      FR/FR    6-7/232 Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill

97           Carson Landis     K/P         SO/FR    6-2/196 Macungie, Pa./Emmaus

17           Will Levis             QB          FR/FR    6-3/220 Madison, Conn./Xavier

40           Jesse Luketa       LB           FR/FR    6-3/239 Ottawa, Ontario/Mercyhurst Prep (Pa.)

85           Isaac Lutz            WR         JR/SO    5-11/185             Reading, Pa./Berks Catholic

89           Colton Maxwell WR         JR/SO    6-0/189 Northampton, Pa./Northampton

66           Connor McGovern OL     JR/JR     6-5/320 Larksville, Pa./Lake-Lehman

14           Zech McPhearson CB      JR/SO    5-11/182             Columbia, Md./Riverdale Baptist School

9             Trace McSorley  QB          SR/SR    6-0/198 Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods

62           Michal Menet    OL          JR/SO    6-4/301 Birdsboro, Pa./Exeter Township Senior

9             Jarvis Miller        LB           SR/JR     6-2/215 Suffield, Conn./Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby

48           Shareef Miller    DE          SR/JR     6-5/256 Philadelphia, Pa./George Washington

73           Mike Miranda    OL          SO/FR    6-3/302 Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe

23           Ayron Monroe   S             SR/JR     5-11/202             Largo, Md./Saint Johns College H.S.

93           PJ Mustipher       DT          FR/FR    6-4/300 Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh School

35           Justin Neff          S             SO/FR    6-1/194 Mill Hall, Pa./Central Mountain

21           Amani Oruwariye CB      GS/SR    6-1/204 Tampa, Fla./Gaither

11           Micah Parsons   LB           FR/FR    6-3/241 Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg

16           John Petrishen   S             SR/JR     6-0/204 Lower Burrell, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic

10           Brandon Polk     WR         SR/JR     5-9/171 Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods

58           Evan Presta         DT          SO/FR    6-3/272 Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep

29           John Reid            CB          SR/JR     5-10/189             Mount Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph’s Prep

24           Miles Sanders     RB          JR/JR     5-11/211             Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills

4             Nick Scott            S             SR/SR    5-11/202             Fairfax, Va./Fairfax

55           Antonio Shelton DT         JR/SO    6-2/295 Westerville, Ohio/Westerville-North

82           Tyler Shoop        WR         SR/JR     5-11/181             Nashville, Tenn./Father Ryan

79           Charlie Shuman  OL          SR/SR    6-8/319 Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland

15           Michael Shuster QB        JR/SO    6-2/208 Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill

34           Shane Simmons DE          JR/SO    6-3/246 Laurel, Md./DeMatha

64           Zach Simpson     OL          SR/JR     6-3/294 Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg Area

2             Tommy Stevens QB          SR/JR     6-5/232 Indianapolis, Ind./Decatur Central

91           Chris Stoll            SN          SO/FR    6-2/244 Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales

81           Cam Sullivan-Brown WR SO/FR    6-0/185 Bowie, Md./Saint Vincent Pallotti

26           Jonathan Sutherland S    SO/FR    5-11/198             Ottawa, Ontario, Canada/Episcopal (Va.)

46           Nick Tarburton   DE          FR/FR    6-3/243 Green Lane, Pa./Pennridge

17           Garrett Taylor    S             SR/JR     6-0/200 Richmond, Va./Saint Christopher’s

20           Johnathan Thomas RB    GS/SR    5-11/215             Peabody, Mass./St. John’s Prep

3             DeAndre Thompkins WR               GS/SR    5-11/191             Hubert, N.C./Swansboro

69           C.J. Thorpe          OL          SO/FR    6-3/322 Glenshaw, Pa./Central Catholic

18           Shaka Toney       DE          JR/SO    6-3/224 Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter

98           Dan Vasey           DL/LS     SO/FR    6-4/237 Lackawaxen, Pa./Wallenpaupack

96           Kyle Vasey           SN          SR/SR    6-2/230 Lackawaxen, Pa./Wallenpaupack

51           Jason Vranic       LB           SR/SR    6-0/226 Wheatfield, N.Y./Niagara-Wheatfield

38           Lamont Wade    S             SO/SO   5-9/196 Clairton, Pa./Clairton

31           Christopher Welde RB    SR/JR     5-7/171 Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North

80           Justin Weller      WR         SO/FR    6-0/190 Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson

54           Robert Windsor DT          SR/JR     6-4/281 Fond Du Lac, Wis./Fond Du Lac

77           Chasz Wright      OL          SR/SR    6-7/346 Woodbridge, Va./Milford Academy

7             Jake Zembiec      QB          JR/SO    6-3/215 Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute

 

Coaches

James Franklin – Head Coach

Brent Pry – Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

Ricky Rahne – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Phil Galiano – Special Teams Coordinator/Assistant Defensive Line

Tim Banks – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

Tyler Bowen – Off. Rec. Coord./Tight Ends

David Corley – Wide Receivers

Matt Limegrover – Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line

Ja’Juan Seider – Running Backs

Terry M. Smith – Assistant Head Coach/Def. Recruiting Coordinator/Cornerbacks

Sean Spencer – Associate Head Coach/Run Game Coord./Defensive Line

Jemal Griffin – Chief of Staff

Kevin Threlkel – Director of Football Administration

Andy Frank – Director of Player Personnel

Michael Hazel – Director of Football Operations

Will Flaherty – Director of Player Development & Community Relations

Dwight Galt – Assistant Athletics Director for Performance Enhancement

Sean Cascarano – Graduate Assistant

Mark Dupuis – Graduate Assistant

Matt Fleischacker – Graduate Assistant

Kevin Smith – Graduate Assistant