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John McGonigal and Josh Moyer and Ryne Gery | Centre Daily Times | December 30, 2017

Penn State, Washington meet in battle of high-powered offenses

  Both the Nittany Lions (41.6 points per game) and Huskies (36.9) ranked in the Top 20 scoring offenses.

It all comes down to this.

Penn State is looking to end the 2017 season on a positive note when it plays Washington at 4 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) in the Fiesta Bowl. It doesn't want to watch purple and gold confetti shooting out of cannons. It doesn't want to send its seniors out with a loss. And it doesn't want a repeat of the Rose Bowl.

So, to prepare for the final Penn State game until the spring (Countdown clock: 112 days), we've got you covered here with preview stories, features and whatever else a Nittany Lion fan could possibly be interested in:


Washington wowed by Penn State's 'rare talent' in Saquon Barkley: We'll just let one player tell you his thoughts for now: "You don't watch ESPN without hearing Saquon Barkley's name." Get ready to hear it a bit more Saturday.

Penn State football looking to Fiesta Bowl to make amends for last year's Rose Bowl loss: Said James Franklin, "When you're not successful in that last game, it leave a bad taste in your mouth and a lot of hurt feelings."

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Complete bowl schedule and TV times

What surprises does Washington have in store for Penn State football?: We talked with a Washington beat writer from the Tacoma News Tribune to get the inside scoop on the Huskies. What unsung player should we be watching? What kind of team are the Huskies? Who has the advantage?

Five things to watch

1. End of a trend? Penn State defense hoping to avoid familiar pass-rush woes: USC, Ohio State, Michigan State -- it's not hard to spot the trend. Penn State's defense struggled. The secondary allowed a lot of yards. And a lot of that started with the lack of a pass-rush. Will Saturday's game be any different?

2. Penn State defense awake at night preparing for Washington RB Myles Gaskin: Nineteen touchdowns might keep you up at night, too. "Super impressed with him," Penn State's defensive coordinator said.

3. Manny Bowen, Irvin Charles kicked off Penn State for team rule violations: It sure seemed as if this was a long time coming. These players were both give at least a second chance, and neither made the most of it.

MORE: How has each conference fared in bowl games this year?

4. With Manny Bowen's dismissal, what will Penn State do at linebacker next season?: No Cabinda, no Bowen, no Smith. No ... problem? Not quite. Brent Pry knows he's got other options, but he also knows 2018 isn't going to come easy now.

5. Saquon Barkley not pondering NFL future until after Penn State's bowl game: Sure, Saquon. We totally believe you haven't made a decision yet. Totally. *Winky face*


Here's why Miles Sanders is 'ready' to be the back at Penn State: Let's stop pretending. This is Saquon Barkley's last game, and Miles Sanders is going to be the back next season. He knows it, Saquon knows it, and you know it. So how's he handling it? We ask him.

Do-everything Penn State QB Tommy Stevens still surprising with athleticism: Mike Gesicki's first impression of Stevens? "We gave this kid a scholarship?" That's since changed -- for good reason.

Penn State safety Troy Apke's long path to Fiesta Bowl started with a coach who saw offensive potential: Apke certainly isn't the most heralded player on the team ... or the defense ... or, heck, even in the secondary. But the quiet-and-consistent starter has still proved invaluable to the Nittany Lions. And his path here all started because of his receiving ability.

Former Penn State OL Miles Dieffenbach: 'I'll never wish I went to school anywhere else': The former offensive lineman looked back on his career and discussed former teammates and how the university impacted his life in the real world.


Have Pitt talks progressed? Will Beaver Stadium host a hockey game? AD Sandy Barbour offers updates: Barbour met up with reporters in Arizona to discuss a variety of topics. One of the highlights? She believes the College Football Playoff committee is sending "mixed signals."

Penn State pep rally brings Happy Valley to the Valley of the Sun: About 7,000 Penn State fans showed up Friday for a pep rally. Here's an inside look at how it went.

Former Penn State DT Jimmy Kennedy addresses CTE, mindset of a football player: Kennedy summed it up succinctly: "It's ingrained in us not to complain."

Overview of Penn State football's 2018 recruiting class: The early signing period was good to the Nittany Lions -- so take a look at each one of their 21 signees and what you can expect from them in the future.

Harrisburg's Micah Parsons becomes one of highest-ranked recruits to ever commit to Penn State football: The linebacker-to-be could be a starter as a true freshman next season, and the excitement in downtown Harrisburg was palpable on Dec. 20 when he announced he was heading home.

Penn State football's 2018 recruiting class includes an 'extremely rare' find: Lions 247's Sean Fitz joined us for an in-depth Q&A to analyze Penn State's recruiting class so far. Definitely worth a read if you're looking for the inside scoop on the Lions of tomorrow.

This article is written by John McGonigal, Josh Moyer And Ryne Gery from Centre Daily Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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