Penn State vs Washington: Fiesta Bowl 2017 preview and prediction

Penn State Looks To Overcome Washington's Defense
PSU needs pressure on QB
Author

31 December, 2017

He has nine scores in his career. To us, special teams is as important as offense or defense.

In what otherwise looks, on paper, like an even matchup across the board, the Huskies' defensive line might have the advantage against a big, but plodding, Penn State offensive line.

This year's semifinals haven't even been played yet, but it's never too early to look ahead to next season. From first team representative Vita Vea to second team player Greg Gaines.

That means that there will be possibly new plays called that opposing defenses haven't seen yet on film. They allowed a scant 1108 total rush yards (92 ypg). He has 25 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss on the season. If the o-line can keep Vea out of the backfield, the Nittany Lions and Barkley should put on a show that the Penn State faithful has become accustom to. If it is again during the Fiesta Bowl, it could be a long day for the Penn State defense.

Barkley has been held to fewer than 100 yards on the ground eight times this season as the Nittany Lions have struggled at times to run between the tackles. They are sixth nationally averaging almost 42 points scored per game. During a college football awards show earlier this month, he asked Stanford's star running back, Bryce Love, about how best to attack the Huskies. This season he corralled 47 passes for 594 yards including three touchdowns. If the d-line for Penn State, that was once ranked high in the nation, can not get back to early season form, it will be a long game for the Nittany Lions. There will be plenty of times times that redshirt junior quarterback Trace McSorley will use the passing attack. McSorley should have a good match up with tight end Mike Gesicki and receivers DaeSean Hamilton and Juwan Johnson, all being over 6 ft. The trio combined this year for 1883 yards and 17 touchdowns. He said the best advice he received from former Penn State players who have gone on to National Football League careers is that at some point "you're going to want to come back to this moment".

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Penn State announced that linebacker Manny Bowen has been dismissed from the team.

Las Vegas says: Penn State is a two-point favorite.

The Nittany Lion secondary is not the only unit that must be wary of Pettis. For Washington, this will be their first trip to the Fiesta Bowl, but Huskies head coach Chris Petersen is no stranger to the game.

Washington State quarterback Luke Falk and Ohio State corner Denzel Ward both decided on game day to sit out their teams' respective bowl games, which led many to wonder if Barkley, who has said he plans to play all along despite the obvious injury risk with a NFL Draft decision looming, might follow suit.

As the leader of the Boise State program, Petersen guided the Broncos to wins over Oklahoma and TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.


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