2017 Penn State Nittany Lions football
Penn State Athletics wordmark.svg
Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy
Fiesta Bowl champion
Fiesta Bowl, W 35–28 vs. Washington
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
DivisionEast Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 8
APNo. 8
Record11–2 (7–2 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive coordinator
Offensive schemeSpread
Defensive coordinatorBrent Pry (2nd as DC; 4th overall season)
Co-defensive coordinatorTim Banks (2nd season)
Base defense4–3
CaptainTrace McSorley
Jason Cabinda
Nick Scott
Marcus Allen
Tyler Davis
Grant Haley
DaeSean Hamilton
Saquon Barkley
Home stadiumBeaver Stadium
(Capacity: 106,572)
Seasons
← 2016
2018 →
2017 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
East Division
No. 5 Ohio State xy$   8 1     12 2  
No. 15 Michigan State   7 2     10 3  
No. 8 Penn State   7 2     11 2  
Michigan   5 4     8 5  
Rutgers   3 6     4 8  
Indiana   2 7     5 7  
Maryland   2 7     4 8  
West Division
No. 7 Wisconsin xy   9 0     13 1  
No. 17 Northwestern   7 2     10 3  
Iowa   4 5     8 5  
Purdue   4 5     7 6  
Nebraska   3 6     4 8  
Minnesota   2 7     5 7  
Illinois   0 9     2 10  
Championship: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 21
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2017 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented Pennsylvania State University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was led by fourth-year head coach James Franklin and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. They were a member of the East Division of the Big Ten Conference.

Penn State entered the season as defending Big Ten champions, and were ranked sixth in the preseason AP Poll. The team won its first seven games by an average margin of victory of 30 points, including a 42–13 rout of No. 19 Michigan, and rose to second in the AP Poll. In a highly anticipated road match-up against No. 6 Ohio State, Penn State lost by a score of 38–39. The following week, the team fell again on the road to Michigan State. These would prove to be Penn State's only losses, as they finished the regular season tied for second in the East Division with a conference record of 7–2. They were invited to the 2017 Fiesta Bowl, where they defeated Washington, and finished the season at 11–2 and ranked eighth in the final polls.

The team was led on offense by running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. Barkley led the conference with 18 rushing touchdowns to go along with 1,271 rushing yards, and was named a consensus first-team All-American as an all-purpose back. McSorley's 3,571 passing yards and 284 pass completions also led the conference.[1] On defense, safety Marcus Allen was named first-team all-conference by the coaches.

Background

Previous season

In 2016, the Nittany Lions had their most successful season in recent years, having won no more than nine games in any of the preceding six seasons. They topped that with an 11–3 record in 2016, moving from an unranked position to a No. 5 ranking by the CFP, AP and Coaches polls. The Nittany Lions also won both the Big Ten's East Division and the Big Ten Championship, and they participated in the Rose Bowl.

2017 NFL Draft

See also: 2017 NFL Draft

Nittany Lions who were picked in the 2017 NFL Draft or signed undrafted free agent contracts:

Round Pick Player Position Team
3 84 Chris Godwin WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
UFA Malik Golden S Pittsburgh Steelers
UFA Garrett Sickels DE Indianapolis Colts
UFA Brandon Bell LB Cincinnati Bengals
UFA Evan Schwan DE New York Giants

Returning starters

Offense

Recruits

Penn State's recruiting class consisted of 21 recruits, including four that enrolled early. Penn State's recruiting class was ranked No. 15 by Scout, No. 10 by Rivals, and No. 17 by ESPN.

Back B Center C Cornerback CB Defensive back DB
Defensive end DE Defensive lineman DL Defensive tackle DT End E
Fullback FB Guard G Halfback HB Kicker K
Kickoff returner KR Offensive tackle OT Offensive lineman OL Linebacker LB
Long snapper LS Punter P Punt returner PR Quarterback QB
Running back RB Safety S Tight end TE Wide receiver WR

Personnel

Roster

2017 Penn State Nittany Lions football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
WR 1 K. J. Hamler Fr
QB 2 Tommy Stevens
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 3 DeAndre Thompkins
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 5 DaeSean Hamilton (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
RB 6 Andre Robinson
Redshirt.svg
 So
QB 7 Jake Zembiec
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
RB 8 Mark Allen
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
QB 9 Trace McSorley (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 10 Brandon Polk
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 11 Irvin Charles
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 12 Mac Hippenhammer Fr
WR 13 Saeed Blacknall Sr
QB 14 Sean Clifford Fr
QB 15 Michael Shuster
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
QB 16 Billy Fessler
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
TE 18 Jonathan Holland
Redshirt.svg
 So
RB 20 Johnathan Thomas
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
RB 24 Miles Sanders So
RB 26 Saquon Barkley (C) Jr
WR 31 Christopher Welde Jr
RB 32 Journey Brown Fr
RB 39 Josh McPhearson
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
RB 40 Nick Eury
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 41 Joe Arcangelo So
OL 51 Alex Gellerstedt
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OL 52 Ryan Bates
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 59 Andrew Nelson
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
OL 61 C. J. Thorpe Fr
OL 62 Michal Menet
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OL 64 Zach Simpson
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 65 Crae McCracken Fr
OL 66 Connor McGovern So
OL 68 Hunter Kelly
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OL 70 Brendan Mahon
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
OL 71 Will Fries
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
OL 72 Robbie Martin Fr
OL 73 Mike Miranda Fr
OL 74 Steven Gonzalez
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 75 Des Holmes Fr
OL 76 Sterling Jenkins
Redshirt.svg
 So
OL 77 Chasz Wright
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
OL 79 Charlie Shuman
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
WR 80 Justin Weller Fr
TE 80 Danny Dalton
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 81 Cam Sullivan-Brown Fr
WR 82 Tyler Shoop
Redshirt.svg
 So
TE 83 Nick Bowers
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 83 Alex Hoenstine Fr
WR 84 Juwan Johnson
Redshirt.svg
 So
WR 85 Isaac Lutz
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
WR 86 Cody Hodgens
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
WR 87 Dae'Lun Darien
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
TE 88 Mike Gesicki Sr
TE 89 Tom Pancoast
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
WR 89 Colton Maxwell
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 Christian Campbell Sr
S 2 Marcus Allen (C) Sr
CB 3 Donovan Johnson Fr
S 4 Nick Scott (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
CB 5 Tariq Castro-Fields Fr
LB 6 Cam Brown So
LB 7 Koa Farmer
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
LB 9 Jarvis Miller
Redshirt.svg
 So
CB 12 Desi Davis
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
LB 13 Ellis Brooks Fr
CB 14 Zech McPhearson
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
CB 15 Grant Haley (C) Sr
S 16 John Petrishen
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 17 Garrett Taylor
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 18 Shaka Toney
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
DE 19 Torrence Brown
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
CB 20 Jabari Butler Jr
CB 21 Amani Oruwariye
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
S 23 Ayron Monroe
Redshirt.svg
 So
CB 24 D. J. Brown Fr
LB 25 Brelin Faison-Walden Fr
S 26 Jonathan Sutherland Fr
S 28 Troy Apke Sr
CB 29 John Reid Jr
DT 30 Kevin Givens
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 32 Mitchell Vallone
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
LB 33 Jake Cooper Jr
DE 34 Shane Simmons
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
S 35 Justin Neff Fr
LB 36 Jan Johnson
Redshirt.svg
 So
S 37 Drew Hartlaub Fr
CB 38 Lamont Wade Fr
LB 39 Frank Di Leo
Redshirt.svg
 So
LB 40 Jason Cabinda (C) Sr
DT 41 Parker Cothren
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DT 42 Ellison Jordan
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LB 43 Manny Bowen Jr
LB 44 Brailyn Franklin Fr
LB 45 Joe DuMond So
DE 46 Colin Castagna Jr
S 47 Will Blair
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LB 47 Brandon Smith
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DE 48 Shareef Miller
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 49 Daniel Joseph
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
LB 50 Max Chizmar Fr
LB 51 Jason Vranic Sr
DT 52 Curtis Cothran
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
DT 53 Fred Hansard Fr
DT 54 Robert Windsor
Redshirt.svg
 So
DT 55 Antonio Shelton
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
DT 56 Tyrell Chavis Sr
DT 58 Evan Presta Fr
DE 90 Damion Barber Fr
DT 92 Corey Bolds Fr
DT 96 Immanuel Iyke
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 97 Ryan Buchholz
Redshirt.svg
 So
DE 99 Yetur Gross-Matos Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 90 Alex Barbir
Redshirt.svg
 Fr
SN 91 Chris Stoll Fr
P 92 Daniel Pasquariello Sr
P, K 93 Blake Gillikin So
SN 94 Joe Calcagno Fr
K, P 95 Tyler Davis (C)
Redshirt.svg
 Sr
SN 96 Kyle Vasey
Redshirt.svg
 Jr
K, P 97 Carson Landis Fr
SN 98 Mike Curry Jr
SN 98 Dan Vasey Fr
K 99 Nick DeAngelis Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Brent Pry (Defensive Coordinator/Associate Head Coach/Linebackers)
  • Joe Moorhead (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks)
  • Charles Huff (Running backs/Special Teams Coordinator)
  • Tim Banks (Safeties/Co-Defensive Coordinator)
  • Josh Gattis (Wide receivers/Offensive Recruiting Coordinator)
  • Matt Limegrover (Offensive Line)
  • Ricky Rahne (Tight ends/Passing Game Coordinator)
  • Terry Smith (Cornerbacks/Defensive Recruiting Coordinator)
  • Sean Spencer (Defensive Line/Run Game Coordinator)
  • Dwight Galt (Assistant Athletics Director for Performance Enhancement)
  • Sean Cascarano (Graduate Assistant)
  • Mark Dupuis (Graduate Assistant)
  • Matt Fleischacker (Graduate Assistant)
  • Kevin Smith (Graduate Assistant)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Roster

Coaching staff

Position Name Alma mater
Head Coach James Franklin[3] East Stroudsburg (1994)
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers/Associate Head Coach Brent Pry Buffalo (1993)
Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks Joe Moorhead Fordham University (1995)
Safeties/Co-Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks Central Michigan University (1994)
Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator Charles Huff[3] Hampton (2005)
Tight Ends/Passing Game Coordinator Ricky Rahne[3] Cornell (2002)
Wide Receivers/Offensive Recruiting Coordinator Josh Gattis[3] Wake Forest (2006)
Cornerbacks/Defensive Recruiting Coordinator Terry Smith[3] Penn State (1991)
Offensive Line Matt Limegrover University of Chicago (1990)
Defensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Sean Spencer[3] Clarion (1995)
Strength and Conditioning Dwight Galt[3] Maryland (1981)
Graduate Assistant Sean Cascarano University of Virginia (2013)
Graduate Assistant Mark Dupuis University of Connecticut (2011)
Graduate Assistant Matt Fleischacker Penn State (2016)
Graduate Assistant Kevin Smith Urbana University (2014)

Schedule

Spring game

Date Time Spring Game Site TV Result Attendance
April 22 3:00 p.m. Blue vs. White Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA BTN Blue 26–0
73,000

Season

During the 2017 Nittany Lions season, Penn State met with non-conference opponents Akron, Pittsburgh and Georgia State (first ever meeting) and faced Big Ten conference opponents Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland. They also received an invitation to participate in the Fiesta Bowl against Washington. The 2017 schedule consisted of 7 home, 5 away, and 1 neutral-site games.

Penn State started the season 7–0, which included a stunning buzzer-beater victory at Iowa, and a home blowout over No. 19 Michigan. The team's first loss was at No. 6 Ohio State, where a furious comeback rally was not enough to suppress the Buckeyes. The next week, Penn State was upset at No. 24 Michigan State on a game-winning field goal. Penn State bounced back, however, with a 4-game winning streak, including a Fiesta Bowl win over No. 11 Washington.

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 212:00 p.m.Akron*No. 6ABCW 52–0101,684
September 93:30 p.m.Pittsburgh*No. 4
  • Beaver Stadium
  • University Park, PA (rivalry)
ABCW 33–14109,898
September 167:30 p.m.Georgia State*No. 5
  • Beaver Stadium
  • University Park, PA
BTNW 56–0102,746
September 237:30 p.m.at IowaNo. 4ABCW 21–1966,205
September 303:30 p.m.IndianaNo. 4
  • Beaver Stadium
  • University Park, PA
BTNW 45–14107,542
October 712:00 p.m.at NorthwesternNo. 4ABCW 31–741,061
October 217:30 p.m.No. 19 MichiganNo. 2
ABCW 42–13110,823
October 283:30 p.m.at No. 6 Ohio StateNo. 2FOXL 38–39109,302
November 412:00 p.m.at No. 24 Michigan StateNo. 7FOXL 24–2771,605
November 1112:00 p.m.RutgersdaggerNo. 16
  • Beaver Stadium
  • University Park, PA
BTNW 35–6107,531
November 184:00 p.m.NebraskaNo. 13
  • Beaver Stadium
  • University Park, PA
FS1W 56–44106,722
November 253:30 p.m.at MarylandNo. 12BTNW 66–349,680
December 304:00 p.m.vs. No. 12 Washington*No. 9ESPNW 35–2861,842
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game
  • All times are in Eastern time
Schedule Source:[4]

Rankings

Further information: 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
Week
PollPre1234567891011121314Final
AP6454443227161312998
Coaches64544432271311111098
CFPNot released714101099Not released

Game summaries

Akron

See also: 2017 Akron Zips football team

Akron vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Akron 0 0 000
#6 Penn State 14 21 10752

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

Pittsburgh

See also: 2017 Pittsburgh Panthers football team and Penn State–Pittsburgh football rivalry

Pittsburgh vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Pittsburgh 0 3 3814
#4 Penn State 14 0 71233

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

Georgia State

See also: 2017 Georgia State Panthers football team

Georgia State vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Georgia State 0 0 000
#5 Penn State 14 21 14756

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

at Iowa

See also: 2017 Iowa Hawkeyes football team

Penn Stats vs. Iowa – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#4 Penn State 3 2 10621
Iowa 0 7 01219

at Kinnick Stadium

Game information

Indiana

See also: 2017 Indiana Hoosiers football team

Indiana vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Indiana 0 14 0014
#4 Penn State 28 0 10745

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

at Northwestern

See also: 2017 Northwestern Wildcats football team

Penn State vs. Northwestern – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#4 Penn State 3 7 14731
Northwestern 0 0 077

at Ryan Field

Game information

#19 Michigan

See also: 2017 Michigan Wolverines football team

Michigan vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#19 Michigan 0 13 0013
#2 Penn State 14 7 71442

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

at #6 Ohio State

See also: 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Penn State vs. Ohio State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#2 Penn State 14 14 7338
#6 Ohio State 3 14 31939

at Ohio Stadium

Game information

at #24 Michigan State

See also: 2017 Michigan State Spartans football team

Penn State vs. Michigan State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#7 Penn State 14 0 10024
#24 Michigan State 7 7 7627

at Spartan Stadium

Game information

Rutgers

See also: 2017 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team

Rutgers vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Rutgers 3 3 006
#16 Penn State 0 14 14735

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

Nebraska

See also: 2017 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

Nebraska vs. Penn State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Nebraska 10 0 142044
#13 Penn State 14 28 01456

at Beaver Stadium

Game information

at Maryland

See also: 2017 Maryland Terrapins football team

Penn Stats vs. Maryland – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#12 Penn State 14 17 211466
Maryland 0 0 303

at Maryland Stadium

Game information

#12 Washington (Fiesta Bowl)

See also: 2017 Washington Huskies football team and 2017 Fiesta Bowl

Washington vs. Penn Stats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
#12 Washington 0 14 7728
#9 Penn State 14 14 7035

at University of Phoenix Stadium

Game information

Awards and honors

Pre-season watch lists

Player Watch list Ref.
Saquon Barkley Maxwell Award [7]
Doak Walker Award
Trace McSorley Maxwell Award
Davey O'Brien Award
Johnny Unitas Award
Wuerffel Trophy
Marcus Allen Chuck Bednarik Award
Bronco Nagurski Award
Lott Trophy
Jim Thorpe Award
Jason Cabinda Chuck Bednarik Award
Bronco Nagurski Award
Mike Gesicki John Mackey Award
Tyler Davis Lou Groza Award
Blake Gillikin Ray Guy Award
Brandon Smith American Football Coaches
Association Good Works team

In-season

Weekly Awards
Player Award Date Awarded Ref.
Saquon Barkley Co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week September 4, 2017 [8]
DeAndre Thompkins Co-Special Teams Player of the Week September 4, 2017 [9]
Marcus Allen Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week September 10, 2017 [10]
Saquon Barkley Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week September 24, 2017 [11]
DaeSean Hamilton Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week October 1, 2017 [12]
Saquon Barkley Big Ten Special Teams Player of the week October 1, 2017 [12]
Saquon Barkley Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week October 22, 2017 [13]
Jason Cabinda Big Ten Defensive Player of the week October 22, 2017 [13]
Trace McSorley Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week October 22, 2017 [14]

Players in the 2018 NFL Draft

See also: 2018 NFL Draft

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Saquon Barkley RB 1 2 New York Giants
Mike Gesicki TE 2 42 Miami Dolphins
Troy Apke S 4 109 Washington Redskins
DaeSean Hamilton WR 4 113 Denver Broncos
Marcus Allen S 5 148 Pittsburgh Steelers
Christian Campbell CB 6 182 Arizona Cardinals

References

  1. ^ "2017 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "2017 Spring Media Guide" (PDF). Indiana University Athletics. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Penn State Selects James Franklin To Lead Football Program". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  4. ^ "2017 Penn State Nittany Lions Football Schedule". FB Schedules. Retrieved December 4, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Taylor, Chris (November 4, 2017). "Not Quite Enough Defense: Penn State Falls 27-24 To The Spartans: The defense couldn't hold on for the win". BlackShoeDiaries.com. SBNation. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Solari, Chris (November 4, 2017). "Michigan State-Penn State game delayed for over 3 hours by lightning". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan. Retrieved November 4, 2017. Penn State sat for 3 hours and 22 minutes before play resumed[.]
  7. ^ "Penn State players on college football award watch lists". philly.com. July 20, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". www.bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. September 4, 2017. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". www.bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. September 4, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". www.bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. September 10, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". www.bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. September 24, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". www.bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. October 1, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Big Ten Football Players of the Week". bigten.org. Big Ten Conference. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "McSorley named to Walter Camp Player of the week". GoPSUsports. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017.