Why Pressure is Mounting for Penn State Football in 2024

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home for the latest Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball news, updates, and analysis of the Penn State Nittany Lions

The latest news, insight, and analysis of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, and Penn State Basketball, including schedules, game results, analysis of breaking news, rumors, speculation, and recruiting coverage of future Penn State Nittany Lions

NittanyCentral is home to the latest Penn State Nittany Lions news, updates, insight, and analysis, including in-depth coverage of Penn State Football, Penn State Wrestling, Penn State Basketball, and much more

Why Pressure is Mounting for Penn State Football in 2024

Penn State Football has been close to making the College Football Playoff but has yet to finish the job.

With the new playoff expanding from four to 12 teams this season, the Nittany Lions have the chance to make it. Finally.

Penn State Football, James Franklin
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Before, when there were only four teams, it was a little easier for Penn State to get away with not making the playoffs, but now they have to find a way in, and if they don’t, it will be a failed season.

Mitch Kaiser from Pro Football Focus released an article 5 college football programs under pressure in 2024, and the Nittany Lions were on the list.

Here is what Kaiser had to say about Penn State.

“Making the College Football Playoff will be an easier task in 2024 with 12 teams participating,” Kaiser writes. “Which means there are no excuses for James Franklin and Penn State not to qualify in what feels like a make-or-break year for the program.

“Quarterback Drew Allar did not progress as hoped last season in an offense that struggled to protect him and generate downfield production. Allar tallied only 12 big-time throws with an 8.0-yard average target depth on 391 attempts. He brings sky-high potential, however.

“Ohio State transfer Julian Fleming, who recorded an 11.5-yard average target depth in 2023, should help Allar as his new top target. The Nittany Lions will once again rely on the defense that carried them a season ago, a unit that ranked first in the FBS in pass-rushing grade (91.5) and second in EPA per play against (-0.256). They return stars Abdul Carter and Kevin Winston Jr., who are both top-25 draft prospects on PFF’s 2025 draft big board. Winston’s 92.8 PFF tackling grade led all safeties in college football, while his PFF overall grade ranked second (89.2).

“We know how good the defense can be, and if Allar can improve, the offense could put Penn State over the top this season. Otherwise, there could be major shake-ups coming.”

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What Penn State Football Has in Its Favor in 2024

Kaiser has a lot of great points and something else that should factor into the Nittany Lions’ season: they avoid playing Michigan this year and get to host Ohio State.

The Buckeyes haven’t lost in Happy Valley since 2016, but the few times they have been there since, they had to have some crazy finishes to pull off the victory so Ohio State could be beaten at Penn State.

It’s time for Penn State to put the college football world on notice, make the playoff, and do some damage in late December or early January.

More: Penn State’s 2 Hidden Superstars for 2024 Season

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Daniel Fisher
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