STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Toughness on the field this season at Penn State won’t necessarily be measured by how the Nittany Lions bounce back from a turbulent offseason.
Instead, coach Bill O’Brien referred to a tried-and-true formula familiar in Happy Valley: running the ball, stopping the run and making plays on special teams.
The NCAA might have banned Penn State from the postseason, but the Nittany Lions are still playing football. They can’t win titles and transfers left them short-handed, but the team’s lofty goal remains to win every game.
Converted wideout Bill Belton, who was a run-pass threat as a prep quarterback, is the favorite to replace star tailback Silas Redd, who transferred to Southern California.
The passing game is getting a makeover, but O’Brien calls the defensive front seven the team’s strength.