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Penn State Looks to Move to 3-0 When It Hosts Georgia State Saturday Night
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 5 Penn State concludes its non-conference slate and season-opening homestand with a prime time contest against Georgia State in Beaver Stadium. Kick time Saturday is set for 7:30 p.m. on BTN.
(Photo: Penn State’s Shareef Miller. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)
Penn State looks to continue its strong start to the season in all three phases of the game. The Nittany Lion defense did not allow a touchdown in its first seven quarters and leads the nation with an average of 11.5 tackles for loss per game. The unit also leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in FBS with an average of just 7.0 points per game allowed and ranks 17th overall in total defense, yielding just 250.5 yards per game. Penn State’s punt units are among the best in the nation in both directions, as DeAndre Thompkins leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in FBS with 22.6 yards per return, while the punt return defense boasts a net average return of 0.0.
On offense, running back Saquon Barkley continues to demonstrate his elite status as he leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation with 214.5 all-purpose yards per game. He and tight end Mike Gesicki have four touchdowns each, leaving Gesicki one score shy of tying the Penn State tight end career record.
It will be Penn State’s first game against football newcomer Georgia State, which started its program in 2010. Georgia State is no stranger to tough competition though, annually facing top-tier FBS opponents and only narrowly falling to Wisconsin by six points last season. The Panthers lost their opener, but will be rested after a bye week. Georgia State will be the first team from the state of Georgia to visit Penn State since Georgia Tech in 1923.
The road and Big Ten play are next for the Nittany Lions, as they will open their nine-game conference slate at Iowa next week.
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