October 22nd, 2016. It was a cool autumn night as Penn State took on the 2nd ranked Buckeyes in a whiteout game in Happy Valley. Trailing by 14 to begin the fourth quarter, the Nittany Lions mounted a comeback that would not only bring them back to win the game, yet it would bring them back to relevance. The Nittany Lions program that had been ruined by the Jerry Sandusky scandal was finally showing their prowess. Almost a year ago today, Penn State announced to the world that they are back.
After that incredible comeback came 7 straight victories, a Big 10 title, and a Rose Bowl win over the USC Trojans. All those years of being the joke of the Big 10 were over. These are your grandparent’s Penn State; the dominate team, national championship contending squad led by Joe Paterno.
Then comes the 2017 season. The Nittany Lions came into the season with high expectations. Led by heisman candidate running back Saquon Barkley and junior quarterback Trace McSorley. Not only have the Nittany Lions lived up to the expectations this year, rather they have exceeded them. The second ranked Nittany Lions rank 1st in the nation in points allowed with 9.6 points per game, and 15th in the nation in points for, scoring 40 points per game. By the way, did you happen to see the whooping they put on Michigan last week? Still bitter from a 49-10 loss to the Wolverines down up in Ann Arbor last season, the Nittany Lions made sure they got revenge this time around. And Saquon Barkley? He surely helped his heisman case with 15 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns. The man can’t be stopped and neither can this Nittany Lions team. Not only did they show off their offensive prowess, yet they showed the nation that their defense isn’t one to sleep on either.
Here we are a year later and the Nittany Lions have none other but Ohio State this week. The same Ohio State team that they beat down in Happy Valley when the program was reignited. Penn State will travel to Columbus where they look to show the world that they are back and back in a big way. This team has national championship expectations and they are ready to show it. This week it’s the Buckeyes, but in the future watch out ‘Bama because here come the Nittany Lions.