Delaware at 7. Penn State
When: Saturday, September 9 at 12:00 p.m.
Where: Beaver Stadium, State College
Watch: Peacock (Streaming Only)
Radio: See Penn State Radio Network
Follow Along: Nittany Nation Twitter Feed
Betting Line: n/a
Three Things To Watch…
On one hand Penn State hopes Sander Sahaydak doesn’t have a Sam Ficken season, on the other hand, they do. Ficken, famously struggled getting his first start in 2012 as a sophomore. He connected on just 3 of his first 11 field goals before finishing the 2012 season perfect 5 games. Today, Ficken is second all-time to Kevin Kelly in field goals made at Penn State. There is no telling whether Sahaydak will get the start Saturday after missing two and being benched in favor of Alex Felkins, a senior who converted his only attempt in Saturday’s opening win, a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter. Coach Franklin was adamant the the two were neck-and-neck all fall long, which is why he didn’t hesitate to pull him. But he was also supportive of his sophomore kicker and said he has handled the adversity well, and addressed the team directly.
“He said, Coach, I got something to say and got up and just handled himself really well. I was I was really proud of him as a as a young man. Like, if it was my son, very proud of him as a as a member of this team, as a teammate,” said Franklin. “I just thought he conduct did himself really well. I think he’s earned everybody’s respect. But I thought what he did right there and what he said did it even more.”
Can Penn State get reserves in early is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Given the nature of an FCS-FBS matchup, a blowout could very well pave way to the end of the bench for Penn State. While both the second string offense and defense played against WVU, can Penn State go even deeper? There won’t be many opportunities for guys like Jaxon Smolik and other third teamers to get reps in any given season, but Saturday could provide that opportunity.
Can Penn State dominate? feels like a silly question against FCS Delaware. But in Penn State’s last FCS matchup, the Nittany Lions only won 38-17 in 2021 against Villanova. It wasn’t a blowout. Penn State didn’t even rush for 100 yards. Coming off a week where the likes of Oregon beat Portland State 81-7, Oklahoma beat Arkansas State 73-0, Syracuse beat Colgate 65-0, and Ole Miss beat Mercer 73-7, there is no reason a playoff contender shouldn’t throttle a lesser opponent.