Penn State Football

Preseason Top-25: ‘Explosive’ Penn State Football on College Football Playoff Doorstep

Penn State Football is ready to reclaim their spot among the nation’s elite college football programs.

The Nittany Lions‘ impressive performance in the 2022 season, capped off by an emphatic victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl, has raised expectations to new heights as the 2023 campaign nears.

Building on this momentum, Penn State enters the 2023 season ranked No. 5 in The Athletic’s preseason top-25, firmly establishing their presence among the nation’s top contenders:

Michigan and Ohio State are the two favorites in the Big Ten this season, but don’t sleep on the Nittany Lions. They’ll once again boast one of the best defenses in all of America and also one of the more dynamic rushing attacks with Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. If Drew Allar settles in under center, Penn State will also have a well-rounded, explosive offense. Last year the Nittany Lions went 11-2 and had a lead against Ohio State in the fourth quarter. If they can find a way to win at least one of the games against Michigan or Ohio State, they should be 11-1 and eyeing their first College Football Playoff berth.


On the offensive side of the ball, Penn State Football possess a dynamic rushing attack that might just be the best backfield in the nation.

Running backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen form an explosive duo, with Singleton rushing for 1,061 yards with 12 touchdowns and Allen adding 867 yards and 10 more scores. The sky could be the limit for the pair of true sophomores.

However, the success of Penn State’s offense hinges on the performance of former five-star quarterback Drew Allar.

With his exceptional talent and potential, Allar has the opportunity to lead a well-rounded and explosive offense.

If Allar settles into his role under center, the Nittany Lions’ offense will be a force to be reckoned with, capable of matching up against any opponent.


Meanwhile, defensively, coordinator Manny Diaz leads a swarming unit that is loaded with talent at all three levels.

Linebacker Abdul Carter has all of the talent to play his way into the First-Team All-American conversation, and Kalen King’s lockdown ability could make fans and opponents a like forget about No. 32 overall draft pick Joey Porter Jr. at cornerback.

With a challenging schedule that includes matchups against Big Ten powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State, Penn State Football has an opportunity to make a resounding statement.

If James Franklin‘s team can secure at least one victory against these formidable opponents, a College Football Playoff berth becomes a realistic goal.

As the Nittany Lions embark on their quest for gridiron glory, the expectations are higher than ever. With a top-ranked defense, a dynamic rushing attack, and the promise of a well-rounded, explosive offense, Penn State has all the necessary ingredients to stake their claim among college football’s elite.

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