I like where this team is at. I like that there are guys still figuring things out, that are absolutely going to be playing better, playing faster in November but that even now we are considered the among the top 3 or top 2 in the country. I think if we had played TTUN last weekend, or even this weekend, I'd be less than optimistic about our chances. They have a lot of experienced leaders and they're playing physical, dominant football. But most of their starters I think are at their ceiling in terms of what they are able to do. They're an impressive team, but I don't see them as being on an upward trajectory the way our young roster is. Because we have an upward trajectory to our development, I think that come November we'll do just fine holding serve in C-bus to close out an undefeated regular season.
Barkley will get yards on us - maybe even over 100. And their offense in some ways is more challenging this year with a mobile QB. But they're also an offense that we're more suited to stop. One of the difficulties against Wisky was that the Badgers run the sort of offense that our defenses were built to stop 7-10 years ago, and maybe even 5 years ago. But today, our defenses and our roster as a whole are built for stopping more "21st century" types of teams. Franklin is re-building PSU in that way, and so I think while they'll be a challenge for us we'll dispatch them without near as much drama as we saw in Madison. 2014 they took us to OT, but that game was on its way to being a romp until JT injured his knee. Also, I just think that with a three year starter at QB, our offense is just capable of so much more now than it was then. Last year, they gave us a fight for 3 quarters before we put them away in the 4th. But in truth, our defense had spent the first half of last year having to sort of carry a sputtering, drifting offense that had a ton of talent but couldn't find ways to get the best out of their skill players or their O-line. And the first half and especially the first quarter of that game was more of the same. Zeke having to run without the benefit of a genuine zone-read QB option to give the defense something or someone else to consider. Jones played possibly his worst half of the year, badly missing on a lot of throws and not able to do much at all with his legs. Truth is, in 2014 and 2015 when JT was running things AND healthy, Penn State couldn't do much to slow us down. We've got the best "road game" coach in the country, and one of the best "road game" QBs in the country. I feel good about Saturday.