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Penn State Football: Way Too Early Predictions From Around The Beat

by on June 23, 2016 6:00 AM

With the season months away there is still plenty of time to guess and second guess how the Nittany Lions' season will go in 2016. And so with that in mind, here are some way-too-early predictions from just a handful of the beat writers covering Penn State football every single day.

Donnie Collins: Scranton Times-Tribune

7-5

I actually think Penn State can be better this season for a few reasons -- namely, an offensive scheme that actually does fit the talent. But, there are far too many red flags to suggest the record can be better than it has been the last two years. The league is good, the division is great, the schedule is more difficult, the quarterback is really just a rookie and the offensive line still hasn't proven anything and the star player (Barkley) is, to me, a guy who has to prove he can avoid injury that  cost him time -- which, he didn't last year. Most of all, though, the defense isn't going to be what it was, because too much was lost up front. I think 7-5, against this schedule, will reflect improvement. But I don't think this is a team taking the next step a year ahead of schedule.

Frank Bodani: York Daily Record

8-4

"The Lions figure to be improved, or at least certainly more entertaining, with growing stars like Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton leading a new offense. Will it mean more victories? That could depend on the development of both lines and new quarterback Trace McSorley. Keeping those veteran linebackers healthy would help quite a bit, too.

Quick success in a more front-loaded schedule would almost certainly provide the confidence this still-rebuilding program needs."

Bob Flounders: PennLive

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6-6

I still have them as a 6-6 team....The Lions are lucky to get OSU and MSU at home but will that just mean close losses instead of blowouts? A testing September should give everyone a good idea of this team's upside. Can the Lions go 3-1 out of the gate? The Sept. 10 matchup with Pitt could be a season-maker or a season-breaker for this team. I think the Pitt, Minnesota and Iowa games will really define the season and a Temple 'W' is not guaranteed. Too many variables for me to see a 7 or 8 win season at this point and James Franklin's teams here have not played well in November...6-6 right now

Derek Levarse: The Times Leader

7-5

But it would be hard to be surprised with any result depending on how quickly things click with Joe Moorhead's offense. Brent Pry will also have to get creative on defense with the losses up front. Fans may not be crazy with the win total, but the vibe around the program should be improved because of a win over Pitt and a less-daunting bowl opponent.If you're taking records with the bowl game included, make it 8-5.

Neil Rudel: Altoona Mirror

7-5

Breaking in a new QB, a new DL, new coordinators, new … you get the drift. Optimistically, 7-5.

Mark Wogenrich: Allentown Morning Call

8-4

Like the direction in which Penn State is headed, particularly with the invigorated offensive staff and philosophy. Though pressure points remain (quarterback, defensive line, new kickers), the six-win skeptics seem awfully gloomy. Let's say 8-4 and a trip to Tampa for the Outback Bowl.

Rich Scarcella: Reading Eagle

7-5

With Joe Moorhead's hiring, it seems that Penn State finally has an offense that fits its quarterbacks. The skill positions are deep with Saquon Barkley and Chris Godwin leading the way. Much depends, of course, on whether the offensive line improves and whether the defensive line doesn't have a dropoff.

Mike Gross: Lancaster Online

6-6

I expect the offense and special teams to be a little better (Joe Moorhead, Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, ... Miles Sanders? Oh, and scholarship kickers.) and the defense to be worse. The three NFL d-linemen will be missed. I expect teams that are really good at throwing the ball will cause a lot of problems for the Nits, although I'm not sure there are any on the schedule.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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