Penn State got off to a strong start to the 2021 college football season but faded down the stretch and it ended up being a disappointing campaign. What to expect from Coach James Franklin’s team this season? Let’s see the preview for your betting NCAA Fotball.
Penn State Must-Bet NCAA Football Games Of 2022 Season
Penn State began last year at 5-0, including wins over ranked Wisconsin and Auburn. However, the Nittany Lions didn’t win consecutive games again and finished 7-6 with a listless 24-10 loss to Arkansas in the Outback Bowl. QB Sean Clifford completed 14-of-32 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown in the loss and he’s back this year.
Clifford ended the season with 3,107 passing yards, fourth in school history. His 21 TD passes were tied for seventh. Clifford’s 261 completions in 2021 ranked fourth in a season at Penn State. Clifford has played in 38 career games, making 33 starts. He is one of three Penn State players to reach 8,000 yards of total offense and one of three PSU quarterbacks to eclipse 7,500 career passing yards.
The senior sits as the current all-time leader at Penn State in completion percentage (.603), ranks second at PSU in career passing touchdowns (62), third in passing yardage (7,839), completions (607) and passing efficiency (141.2), fourth in attempts (1,006), tied for seventh in yards per passing attempt (7.8), eighth in lowest interception percentage (2.49), and 10th in touchdown pass percentage (6.16) and wins as a starting quarterback (21). He third in school history in 300-yard passing games (7) and 200-yard games (19). Among Penn State quarterbacks, is third all-time at PSU in rushing yardage (897) and tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns (10) and is second all-time in program history in career total yards (8,736) and touchdowns responsible for (72).
Leading rusher Keyvone Lee also returns. He appeared in 13 games last year as a freshman, making four starts. He ran for 530 yards on 108 carries (4.9 average) with two touchdowns and 15 receptions for 130 yards. Lee finished tied for 11th in the Big Ten in yards per carry (4.9). Second-leading rusher and former star recruit Noah Cain is gone to LSU.
There is a gaping hole at wideout as Jahan Dotson was a 2022 first-round pick by Washington. He ranked second at Penn State in a single season in receptions (91), receiving yards (1,182) and receiving touchdowns (12). Dotson became the fourth PSU wide receiver (6th instance) to record a 1,000-yard receiving season (1,182). Parker Washington will be the new No. 1. In 2021, he tallied 64 receptions, 820 yards and five touchdowns, ranking second on the team in all categories. Washington was sixth in the Big Ten in receptions and ninth in receiving yards and posted 12 receptions of 20-plus yards.
The offensive line has to be stronger. There’s size, and there’s decent depth thanks to the transfer portal – getting Hunter Nourzad from Cornell and JB Nelson from the JUCO ranks to work at guard – but there are only two starters back.
Defensively, the secondary should be a strength. Senior safety Ji’Ayir Brown and redshirt junior cornerback Joey Porter, Jr. landed on the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list. The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.
Brown tied for the nation’s lead with six interceptions in 2021, which were tied for the 10th-most in a season at PSU. He also became the first Nittany Lion to record six interceptions and two fumble recoveries in a season since Alan Zemaitis in 2005. Brown tied a Penn State bowl record with two interceptions in the Outback Bowl vs. Arkansas. He’s elite in coverage, where he’s one of the best in the country at tracking the ball in the air and hauling in interceptions. He has the size and athleticism to stay with opponents in man coverage on top of playing the ball so well when it’s up for grabs.
Porter finished the 2021 season with 51 tackles, a forced fumble, an interception and four pass breakups. The linebacking corps loses leading tacklers Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith. When the defense allowed 20 points or fewer last year, Penn State was 7-1. It was 0-5 in the other games.
Penn State opens the season Sept. 1 at Purdue and probably will go 2-1 in non-conference play with a loss at Auburn on Sept. 17. The Lions do avoid Iowa and Wisconsin from the Big Ten West.
Penn State 2022 Football Prediction
- 8-4, bet under 8.5 wins