5 reasons why Penn State beat the Wisconsin Badgers in Week 1

Today the wait is finally over as Penn State football returns to the field with a massive Big Ten season opener. Penn State is on the road to challenge Big Ten West favorite Wisconsin in a noon kickoff. The game figures to be Penn State’s biggest opening day challenge of the James Franklin era, and expectations are the Nittany Lions will rebound a bit in 2021 after a disappointing 2020 season.

But what will it take for Penn State to avoid starting the year with a Big Ten road loss for the second straight season? Here are five reasons Penn State can come out of Madison with a win this afternoon.

Momentum

During the 2020 season, the Nittany Lions had one of their worst and strange seasons in the program history as they started out 0-5. Penn State would end its season by winning their last four games, so the question will be can they build off those four games and start 2021 with a 1-0 mark?

How will Sean Clifford bounce back?

During the 2020 season, Sean Clifford looked off which lead him to be benched. Fortunately for Penn State, Clifford was able to come back from being benched and lead the Lions to four wins to end the season. Can Clifford build off of that to get a fast start to the season and avoid the costly turnovers that dug holes last season?

NEXT: Clifford’s success will be led by the new offensive coordinator, and more reasons why Penn State will grab a win in Week 1

Penn State’s new offensive coordinator

For the 2021 season, the Penn State offense will feature a new play-caller in Mike Yurcich. He is the third offensive coordinator in three years for James Franklin, which can lead to some instability with any offense at the start of a season. From what the players have been saying about the impact that Mike Yurcich has had so far, this year the offense could take a big jump.

The depth of running backs

The Nittany Lions will have a lot to say on the ground this year as they have a very deep group of running backs lead by Noah Cain, who is coming back from injury. Penn State also has an experienced upperclassman in John Lovett who is a transfer from Baylor, a potential rising star Keyvone Lee, Caziah Holmes, and Devyn Ford who all got some valuable experience during 2020. Penn State is the only school in the nation with three Doak walker Award watch list players with Cain, Lovett, and Lee.

Winning on the road for tiebreakers

Winning games on the road is hard, but this one could be pretty important down the road if Penn State wants to have Big Ten title and College Football Playoff aspirations this season. Anytime to get a win on the road is huge and you know that you can go into a hostile environment. Penn State will play in front of a full stadium for the first time in two seasons with Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium amped up for the return of their beloved Badgers. Penn State won their last trip to Camp Randall Stadium in 2013.

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/5-reasons-why-penn-state-123331118.html?src=rss

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