Penn State football is coming out strong for the 2021 season. With a 5-0 record, they could not be doing better than this. Currently, they are ranked third in the Big Ten and are predicted to continue to thrive this season. Prior to their opening game, the College Football News predicted Penn State to be tied for second place in the Big Ten East Division by the end of the season.
The team’s opening game was against Wisconsin, and it did not look to be in their favor at the beginning. Until the beginning of the fourth quarter, Wisconsin had more than a 50% chance of winning, according to ESPN. However, in the fourth quarter, Penn State began to pull away and did not let up any turnovers the entire game. With the stadium being filled to 96% capacity, their fans were back and ready to cheer them to victory. The game ended 16-10, giving PSU their first win of the season.
Ball State, a team that is not a part of the Big Ten Conference, was PSU’s second opponent. Penn State was favored to win from the beginning of the game, and they did just that. For more than half of the game, Penn State had possession of the ball, and they used that time to secure a 44-13 win. The rowdy PSU fans gathered again for the game, this time filling the stadium to 99% capacity!
With two wins under their belt, Penn State played Auburn on September 18th. At that time, PSU was ranked 10th in their conference, and yet again they were favored to win the game. Now filling the stands to 100% capacity, the fans came decked out in white for the annual white-out game. The game was close throughout, with each team having a turnover each. PSU did pull ahead with 386 rushing yards to Auburn’s 367, with a final score of 28-20.
Penn State’s next victim was Villanova, who was not prepared for the Nittany lion’s spirit. The Villanova team practiced with leaf blowers to prepare for PSU’s huge stadium and boisterous fans. Penn State was once again favored to win, and they showed they are the superior Pennsylvanian team. With a final score of 38-17, Penn State could not be stopped.
Their momentum only continued to grow as they played Indiana with their 4-0 record. PSU’s strong defense showed their power in this game, intercepting multiple plays. Shutting out Indiana, Penn State won 24-0, adding another win to their growing collection.
Going into Penn State’s most recent game, their quarterback, Sean Clifford, was injured and could not play against Iowa. Whether it was his absence or the absence of the PSU fans given it was an away game, PSU lost their momentum. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Iowa was even ahead, but Penn State could not save the game. Losing 20-23 with four turnovers to Iowa’s one, the Nittany Lions were beaten.
However, the season has only just begun, and Penn State has a hard lineup in the near future. Illinois, Ohio State, Maryland, and Michigan are gearing up to play the Nittany Lions, and the recent loss could begin a losing streak, or it could be used as ammunition. With the fans more ecstatic than ever, the players more determined than ever, and the competition more aware of PSU’s potential, the Penn State football team could be looking at their best season yet.