Penn State Is Expected To Win CFP Championship
Saturday 30 May 57594 Shares
The Big Ten champs could have been in the CFP last year, after beating Ohio State, but the Buckeyes were chosen instead, in spite of the head-to-head result.
"Whenever seasons don't end exactly the way you want them to, there's motivation for the following year," coach James Franklin said. "We did have a good year and gain from those experiences and playing on those stages, but there's only one team at the end of the year that's truly happy. The fact we have so many returning players who played in those settings and played on those stages, I do think that's going to be a motivator, a confidence-builder, a lot of those things."
With only one senior on offense, and three on defense, PSU was one of the youngest teams in the country last year. That bodes well for 2017, especially with the returning one-two punch of quarterback Trace McSorley and tailback Saquon Barkley.
"We can take the experiences that we had last year and use those experiences, but for us to think we're entitled now to success, that's not how it works," he said. "We have to make sure we keep our identity, which is blue-collar, hard-nosed, prepare like crazy and be ready for when opportunities come."
More specifically, they can't squander opportunities. Last year, PSU had a total of nine turnovers in its three losses (three vs. USC, four vs. Pitt and two vs. Michigan).
"The games that we won the turnover battle, I think we were 8-0," Franklin said. "That's an area we need to get better and be more consistent at, the other is third down. Those two areas are going to be real areas of focus."