Homecoming in Happy Valley

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Homecoming In Happy Valley
November 4, 2017 DaeSean Hamilton of the Penn State Nittany Lions races past the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Homecoming in Happy Valley

Four Things to Look for: Penn State vs. Rutgers

1. Penn State gets back on track at home

Penn State returns home for homecoming in Happy Valley on Saturday. The Nittany Lions take on Rutgers in Beaver Stadium at 12:00 pm EDT on Big Ten Network. Rutgers has not beat Penn State in any of the three years since entering the Big Ten in 2014. The Scarlet Knights are 4-5 this season and 3-3 in the Big Ten.

The Nittany Lions are coming off of a two-game losing streak and looking to get back on track against a struggling Rutgers team. Head coach James Franklin stated after the loss at Michigan State that the Nittany Lions are going to work on getting back to their game. Look for Penn State to return to early season form and win big at home.

2. Nittany Lion linebackers against a run-heavy Rutgers offense

The Scarlet Knights are averaging just 127 passing yards per game coming into Homecoming in Happy Valley. Senior Giovanni Rescigno is currently the signal caller for Rutgers and can run the ball if given the opportunity. He had six rushing attempts for 54 yards against Maryland a week ago.

The main rushing threats however are, Gus Edwards and Robert Martin. Edwards has six touchdowns on the year and is the team’s leading rusher. He averages 4.5 yards per carry, but can be explosive if given the room. Martin enters the game to give Edwards a breather, and is also effective. Last week against Maryland, Martin contributed 69 yards and one touchdown. Look for the Nittany Lion defense to be ready and force at least one fumble throughout the game.

3. Homecoming paired with the Military Appreciation Game

Saturday brings a much-needed Homecoming in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions are coming off of two very tough road losses and Homecoming is the perfect setting to get back on track. Homecoming falls on Veteran’s Day, so Penn State is also celebrating the Military Appreciation Game. In addition to any Homecoming festivities, there will also be a military flyover at approximately 11:43 a.m. during the National Anthem. Get to the stadium early to witness Penn State graduates Lt. Nate Shuey and Lt. Mike Webb conduct the flyover.

4. Saquon Barkley against the team he formerly committed to

Saquon Barkley initially committed to Rutgers as a high school running back, before gaining the attention of the Penn State football coaches. In 2015, the first season Barkley battled the Scarlet Knights, he scored two touchdowns and rushed for 195 yards. The Nittany Lions beat Rutgers 28-3 in that contest. The next season, 2016, Barkley scored one touchdown and rushed for 92 yards paired with 25 receiving yards. Penn State won that contest 39-0.

The last two weeks have been rough for Barkley’s individual performance. He broke his touchdown streak last week, not finding the end zone at all against Michigan State. Look for Barkley to get back on track against a team that he is historically productive against.

Takeaways

Penn State returns home for Homecoming in Happy Valley on Saturday. The Nittany Lions face Rutgers for another Big Ten East match up. Kick off is set for 12:00 p.m. EDT on Big Ten Network. Look for the Nittany Lions to snap their two game losing streak against a struggling Scarlet Knight team that is 3-3 in Big Ten play. Finally, look for Saquon Barkley to have a much needed big game.

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