#46 Penn State Football 2012 Preview

Penn State Nittany Lions

2012 Overall Rank: #46
#8 Big Ten Conference
Penn State College Football 2012 Team Preview
Penn State Team Page


The Nittany Lions have had more than their fair share of off field issues throughout the last year, all of which have been well documented. The cloud just seems to be getting darker and they still will be facing repercussions from the scandal. Newly hired head coach, Bill O’Brien, has a long and difficult road ahead of him, the biggest of which may be steering the program through one of the biggest scandals in the history of college football.  It will be his job to keep this team focused amidst all the media madness and scandal talks.

2011 Record: (9-4 Overall, 6-2 Conference)  
2011 Bowl: Ticket City Bowl vs Houston (L 14-30)
Coach: Bill O’Brien (0-0 at Penn State, 0-0 Overall)  
Offensive Coordinator:  Bill O’Brien
Defensive Coordinator:  Ted Roof

Returning Leaders:
Rushing:  Silas Redd, RB, 1,241 yards  
Passing:  Matt McGloin, QB, 1,571 yards
Receiving:  Justin Brown, WR, 517 yards
Tackles:  Gerald Hodges, DB, 60
Sacks: Gerald Hodges, DB, 4.5
Interceptions: Gerald Hodges, DB, 1; Malcolm Willis, DB, 1; Sean Stanley, DE, 1; Adrian Amos, DB, 1

Other Key Returnees:  QB Rob Bolden, LB Michael Mauti, P Anthony Fera

Key Losses:  WR Derek Moye, DL Jack Crawford, DL Devon Still

The Nittany Lions have long been known for their daunting and punishing defense, lead by their linebacker core. Their 2012 campaign will be no different. Their defense will be the unit that will be asked to set the tone and keep them in every game that they play. They are physical, strong, proud, and competitive. A season ago the defense was one of the stingiest in the nation, holding opponents to under 17 points per game. Their pass defense was particularly superb, allowing just under than 191 yards per game while compiling 2.38 sacks per game.  This defense will propel Penn State in 2012 as offensive guru, Bill O’Brien, begins to overhaul the offense. The pressure will be on the defense, as usual, to keep them in games and allow Penn State to be successful.

Penn State has never been known for their offense. Last year was no expectation. Although the scandal has hurt the Nittany Lions in many ways, it did allow them to a hire an offensive genius in Bill O’Brien. The former Patriots quarterback coach will certainly give this offense a much needed spark, particularly in the passing department. Last year the offense was only able to muster up a measly 19.31 points per game, 110th in the nation. That will not cut it in Big Ten play. Although their running game was solid, their passing attack lagged far behind, managing just 177 yards per game. This is Coach O’Brien’s specialty and Penn State will need him to work his magic because this is their biggest and most glaring weakness.

The Bottom Line:
Penn State has gone through a lot in the past year, and they may be encountering some rough seasons ahead, especially when the NCAA decides what it is going to do as a punishment. However their future looks bright under Coach O’ Brien, despite whatever trouble he may have to steer this program out of. Their defense will continue to be one of the best in the nation and the offense should start showing signs of the life, which could make for a dangerous Penn State team in the future.

Projected Bowl: Not Bowl Eligible per NCAA

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense:  165.38 (46th in the nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 177.00 (96, 9)
Total Offense: 342.38 (95, 10)
Scoring Offense: 19.31 (110, 11)
Rushing Defense: 133.31 (42, 4)   
Pass Defense: 190.62 (17, 6)
Total Defense: 323.92 (20, 6)
Scoring Defense: 16.77 (5, 1)
Turnover Margin: .08 (T-49, 6)   
Sacks:  2.38 (26, 3)   
Sacks Allowed: 1.08 (18,1)   

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:
#56 Jordan Hill

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#155 Eugene Lewis


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