PISCATAWAY, N.J. — On Saturday afternoon, Rutgers football hosts a Penn State team that needs to win out to keep their slim College Football Playoff hopes alive.
For Rutgers football (4-6, 1-6 Big Ten), their hopes of qualifying outright for a bowl game comes down to these final two games. Win both games, a tall order, and Rutgers would be bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.
Check out what Andrew Harbaugh of Nittany Lions Wire had to say about Saturday’s meeting in the penultimate Big Ten game for both programs!
What has led to Penn State football's turnaround the past two years under James Franklin?
“Honestly, it has to do with recruiting, the 2022 class specifically has been a special addition. The running backs specifically have brought Penn State back to a consistent offense the likes they haven’t seen since Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders shared the same backfield.”
Given the success of the past two years, could James Franklin be a target for an SEC team or another job?
“He has the ties as he is the last person to have success at Vanderbilt, that being said his buyout is far too big for a school like Auburn to afford after having to pay Bryan Harsin. Add in the fact that Texas A&M could fire Jimbo Fisher who was a $90+ million dollar buyout and I just don’t see it from a monetary sense. That being said, I do feel Franklin has plateaued at Penn State so taking an offer elsewhere will always be in the news cycle.”
On if Penn State running back Nicholas Singleton's success this season as a true freshman is a surprise
“In 2019-2020 fans were excited for Journey Brown to take over but his heart condition ended his football career. Nick Singleton is the best runner in the program since Brown, honestly maybe since Barkley. While his potential is super high he will have a lot more to grow into especially with securing the ball if he is going to secure that type of reputation as his predecessors.”
Thoughts on the play of Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and the season he has had
“Penn State fans are hard on Clifford but it is deserved in my opinion. Most anger though can also be directed at this coaching staff for being okay with average performances at the quarterback position. The cream of the crop is Ohio State when it comes to Big Ten quarterback play, Clifford would be third, maybe fourth string at that program but at Penn State he is seen as the end all be all of the position and that is just not acceptable.”
On when Rutgers football and Penn State will become a rivalry
“I think Greg Schiano is well on his way to having Rutgers compete in the Big Ten once again. That being said though, he needs to get an upset to make this even worthy of a thought let alone a discussion of a rivalry.”
What's more likely Penn State basketball makes the postseason or Penn State football makes a New Year's bowl game?
“I honestly think the basketball team has a better chance at the postseason, the Big Ten and college football as a whole this season is very crowded whereas Penn State basketball would have 100 other chances to make a postseason tourney.”