The Penn State Nittany Lions are coming off a successful 11-2 season in 2019 that included a rout of the Memphis Tigers in the Cotton Bowl. The Nittany Lions have been given an over/under win total of 9.5 by oddsmakers for the 2020 season. Penn State is expected to be one of several contenders vying for this year's Big Ten Conference title. Penn State has the talent to put together a very successful 2020 season with a dual-threat quarterback, depth in the running game and an excellent defense that has arguably the country's best player.
The Penn State offense will be led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Sean Clifford, who threw for 2,654 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. Clifford's top targets will be Pat Freiermuth at tight end and Jahan Dotson, who averaged over 18 yards per catch last season. Several other receivers are expected to make the Nittany Lions passing game one of the Big Ten’s most dangerous.
Journey Brown will lead a trio of talented running backs this season after rushing for 890 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019 with just 129 rushes. The Penn State offensive line should be one of the best in the Big Ten if not the nation as all five players that will start have started in the past and two of the players have been starters for two or more seasons.
On defense. Penn State will be led by linebacker Micah Parsons, who is arguably the nation's best player. The linebacker corps will be the heart of the Penn State defense with Parsons, Jesse Luketa, Ellis Brooks, Brendan Smith, Lance Dixon and Curtis Jacobs all seeing action during the course of the season. Antonio Shelton will lead the defensive front four at tackle, while Shaka Toney, Shane Simmons and Jason Oweh will see plenty of playing time. The secondary will be led by Tariq Castro-Fields and Keaton Ellis at cornerback while Lamont Wade and Jaquan Brisker will be the two starting safeties.
Free NCAAF Pick:
Penn State must play on the road at Michigan in Week 5 and host Ohio State in Week 8, making those two games the biggest of the season for the Nittany Lions. Penn State should have a chance of winning on its home field against the Michigan Wolverines, but it is unlikely the Nittany Lions can defeat Ohio State on the road. Penn State has one of the best if not the best players in the country in linebacker Micah Parson, but potential losses to Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan State could derail a successful season for the Nittany Lions. Final Prediction: UNDER 9.5