The Penn State Nittany Lions team represents the Pennsylvania State University in college football. The Nittany Lions compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big Ten Conference, which they joined in 1993 after playing as an Independent from 1892 to 1992.
Established in 1887, the Nittany Lions have achieved numerous on-field successes, the most notable of which include two consensus national championships (1982 and 1986), four Big Ten Conference Championships (in 1994, 2005, 2008, and 2016), 13 undefeated seasons (1887, 1894, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1920, 1921, 1947, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994) and 48 appearances in college bowl games, with a postseason bowl record of 29–17–2. The team is also #8 in all-time total wins, one game behind Oklahoma and Alabama. The Nittany Lions play their home games at Beaver Stadium, located on-campus in University Park, Pennsylvania. With an official seating capacity of 106,572, Beaver Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the western hemisphere, behind only Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The team is currently coached by James Franklin.
Penn State steady in AP Top 25 after regular-season finale
Penn State is holding steady in national college football rankings following its regular-season finale. The Nittany Lions, who defeated Rutgers 27-6 on Saturday, remain at No. 12 in an updated Associated Press Top 25 Poll published Sunday afternoon.
PSU got a one-spot bump to No. 11 in the new Coaches Poll. The Nittany Lions entered this weekend listed 10th in College Football Playoff rankings, and a fresh set of those rankings will be revealed Tuesday.
Although it wasn’t the absolute blowout many anticipated — Penn State entered the matchup favored by approximately 40 points — a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns put the game out of reach. The Nittany Lions are 10-2 and now await news of a bowl destination, though a New Year’s Six spot is widely projected at this point.
“It’s pretty cool to get to that 10-win mark,” sophomore receiver Jahan Dotson said. “Last year we came up a little bit short with some losses (finishing 9-4). But it was cool to get to 10 wins for those seniors.”
Dotson helped guarantee a festive postgame atmosphere on Senior Day by securing a 44-yard touchdown reception with about 12 minutes remaining in the matchup. He was the recipient of a pass from first-time starter Will Levis, who filled in at quarterback for an injured Sean Clifford and finished 8-of-14 passing for 81 yards, one score and one interception.
“This will be great tape for him to learn and grow from,” Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said. “I am really excited about him and his future, but we could have been a little bit cleaner with some things tonight.”
Levis was particularly impressive as a runner, producing a game-high 108 yards on 17 carries, including rushes of 30 and 49 yards that set the stage for two of Journey Brown’s three touchdown runs.
Brown turned 16 carries into 103 yards and three scores (from 1, 2 and 18 yards). The redshirt sophomore running back totaled 470 yards and seven touchdowns in four November contests.
Penn State trailed 3-0 late in the first quarter and held a 13-6 lead entering fourth-quarter action but ultimately sent the Scarlet Knights home with a 2-10 record. Rutgers is reportedly set to bring back former head coach Greg Schiano.
“We have a lot of respect for that program,” Franklin said. “They have given us fits for years. There’s been games where we have played well but there’s been battles. I think in a lot of ways we always get Rutgers best. I think a lot of it is there’s so much familiarity with the two programs in terms of recruiting, in terms of region and all those types of things. They played well tonight, we didn’t play as well as we could’ve. … I know we’re waking up tomorrow happy.”
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, unbeaten Ohio State stays at No. 2 in the AP Poll. The Buckeyes will face No. 10 Wisconsin in the conference title game next Saturday. No. 15 Minnesota, No. 17 Michigan and No. 18 Iowa also wrap up the regular season ranked.
Penn State is in position to claim a top-10 ranking in final AP Poll results for the third time in four years with a win in its bowl game. Such a span has not happened for the program since 1993-96.
This is the 55th straight AP Poll that features Penn State. Only Alabama (194), Ohio State (129), Clemson (83) and Oklahoma (58) currently carry a longer streak of consecutive poll appearances.