Penn State Nittany Lions Football vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview
The Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2) will try to shake off a devastating loss to the Michigan Wolverines against the Rutgers Scarlett Knights (6-4, 3-4). They will have their potential bounce-back game on Saturday, November 18th at Noon in Beaver Stadium against Rutgers. Rutgers is coming into the game off of a 22-0 shutdown loss at Iowa. Their other Big 10 losses occurred against Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan, while they defeated Michigan State, Northwestern, and Indiana. What will be important for fans to watch when Penn State hosts Rutgers?
1. Will the Penn State Nittany Lions offense look different without Mike Yurcich?
The big news out of Happy Valley is that the Nittany Lions relieved offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich of his duties after the loss. Penn State failed to move the ball in both losses to Ohio State and Michigan, and something had to be done, or else fans would start to lose faith.
Yurcich had to get more out of the offense. They have an NFL-caliber left tackle, two-star running backs, and a big-name receiver transferred in. This year they were supposed to have their best quarterback in a long time. That all resulted in another awful offensive performance when it mattered most.
So, what will the offense look like with a new play caller? Rutgers has a pretty solid defense; if it takes time to adjust, there could be issues.
2. What does a win for the Penn State Nittany Lions mean?
Penn State is favored to win the game by about 20 points. They have won 16 straight games against Rutgers and have not lost to the Scarlett Knights since they joined the Big 10. Penn State will probably win and get to 9-2, but what does it all mean? This was the year that the team was supposed to hang with Michigan and Ohio State, and they did not.
James Franklin is 4-16 against those two elite programs, and he is 3-17 against the top 10 teams in the rankings. He is 84-22 as a coach and 83-21 against non-top ten teams when he is not facing those two. So, he will probably beat Rutgers and cap off another two-loss year.
3. The Penn State Nittany Lions will celebrate their Senior Class
One way to get the Nittany Lions and their fans' minds off the loss is to celebrate Senior Day. Saturday will be the last time the Penn State Seniors play in front of the home crowd, which is always an emotional day.
A few notable seniors include Treyson Potts, Tank Smith, Dante Cephas, Hunter Nourzad, Sal Wormley, Hakeem Beaomon, Johnny Dixon, Dvon Ellies, Daequan Hardy, and Adisa Isaac.