College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Penn State football season with what you need to know.


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Penn State Football Schedule Analysis
– Penn State Nittany Lions Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2020 Record: 4-5 overall, 4-5 in Big Ten
Head Coach: James Franklin, 8th year, 60-28 (84-43 overall)
2020 CFN Final Ranking: 56
2020 CFN Preview Ranking: 8
2019 CFN Final Ranking: 5

Penn State Nittany Lions College Football Preview 2021: Offense

The Nittany Lions spent 2020 trying to figure it all out. There were WAY too many turnovers, nothing about the attack was particularly special, and as mediocre as things seemed to be …

Penn State was still second in the Big Ten in total offense.

As awful as things were for the team after the worst start in the history of Penn State football – but, of course, not the worst year for this program by a gajillion miles – James Franklin and his staff are still good at fixing glitches. This year, it starts with those turnovers – more on that in the Keys To The Season – and that begins with getting a big year out of …

The quarterbacks. More specifically, the season might come down to whether or not Sean Clifford is great at college football. He’s got the 6-2, 220-pound size, the mobility to be solid on the move, and when he’s on, he’s got the upside to be a difference-maker.

Backup Will Levis is now a Kentucky Wildcat and Micah Bowens left for Oklahoma – it’s a thin group behind Clifford. Ta’Quan Roberson is a dangerous prospect who could add a spark.

The receiving corps has a star in Jahan Dotson – leading the way with 52 catches for 884 yards and eight scores – and it has a rising playmaker in sophomore Parker Washington, who finished second on the team with 36 grabs for 489 yards and six scores. It’s a young corps behind the top two, but there’s a whole lot of talent.

The tight end situation takes a hit with Pat Freiermuth now a Pittsburgh Steeler, but Brenton Strange caught 17 passes and 6-6, 250-pound Theo Johnson is promising.

The offensive line has to be stronger. The Nittany Lions were a disaster in pass protection and the ground game averaged a pedestrian 174 yards per game. The tackles are exceptionally talented – Rasheed Walker and Caedan Wallace have NFL upside – but again, there were too many sacks given up.

The interior is the problem with the starting three likely to be locked in after fall camp. Senior Mike Miranda will get a spot somewhere – probably center after working at guard – but give this group time.

The running backs are fantastic. Keyvone Lee is a slimmed-down 220-pounder who led the way with 438 yards and four scores.

Baylor transfer John Lovett should be a big play factor right away, and 2019 season-leading rusher Noah Cain is back after missing most of last year. Throw in former star recruit Devyn Ford, and this group is deep and dangerous.

– What You Need To Know: Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Penn State Football Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Penn State Nittany Lions College Football Preview 2021: Defense