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Analyzing Post-Auburn Reactions For Penn State Football

The vibes are good surrounding No. 6 Penn State football.

After taking down Auburn 28-20 at the White Out Saturday night, the Nittany Lions now sit as the second-highest ranked Big Ten squad in AP Top 25 Poll and have an impressive resume through just three weeks. Now with a noon kickoff against Villanova on the horizon, Penn State fans are plenty confident in what this team can do.

With that, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most popular takes surrounding the Nittany Lions this week:

‘Penn State Is Winning The Big Ten Championship’

Sam Brungo: Honestly, this seems like the year Penn State wins another Big Ten Championship. I think that Penn State is just good enough and the rest of the conference is just bad enough that the stars may align. I’m confident.

Will Pegler: At this point, this isn’t a ridiculous take at all. Iowa is clearly a force in the Big Ten West, but the Nittany Lions could certainly contend with Ohio State out of the East. Even if Penn State doesn’t manage to take down the Buckeyes in Columbus next month, I could see a stumble for Ryan Day and his squad that opens the door for Penn State.

Gabe Angieri: Relax. This could very well happen, but it’s too soon to think this. Penn State still has games against Iowa and Ohio State, two teams ranked in the top 10. Additionally, it has games against two other ranked opponents in Michigan State and Michigan. I think it’s completely reasonable to have high expectations for the Nittany Lions. However, we’re a long way away from the Big Ten title game. A lot can happen between then and now.

Ryan Parsons: OK. I love this team — I really do. However, it’s really only the third game. Penn State does have one of the most impressive resumes in the country at the moment, but the schedule ahead of it is still pretty tough. Ohio State and Iowa are the big obstacles ahead of the Nittany Lions, but it’s shaping up to be a fun finish. It might be too early to go ring chasing, but I do like what I’ve seen so far. Like most years, if you beat Ohio State, anything is possible.

‘Sean Clifford Will Finish As The Best Quarterback In The Conference’

Sam Brungo: Statistically? Probably not. Overall most valuable quarterback to his team? Probably. While he isn’t normally throwing 400 yards and five touchdowns a game, the way he leads our offense should earn him some Big Ten honors at the end of the season.

Will Pegler: I’m with Sam here. But even if Clifford doesn’t put up the flashy stats, if he stays efficient and confident in his decision-making all season long, he’ll be exactly what the Nittany Lions lead as they battle through the Big Ten.

Gabe Angieri: This is one I can get behind. Clifford had arguably the best performance of his college career in Penn State’s win over Auburn, and he seems to be getting more and more comfortable in Mike Yurcich’s offense. I’ll go even further and say Clifford could be a dark-horse Heisman candidate by the end of the season. That’s how good I think this offense could be.

Ryan Parsons: It’s hard to really say who is the “best” quarterback in a certain conference since there are really lots of different factors. With the way Penn State’s offense works, Clifford almost certainly won’t finish with the most yards. But whoever has the best offense in the conference will probably have the best quarterback. If Clifford can keep the ship afloat and be as efficient as he has been, he’ll certainly be in the conversation.

‘If There Were Ever A Year To Beat Ohio State And Run The Table, This Is The One’

Sam Brungo: Well, every year is a year to beat Ohio State and run the table. Every team in the conference is beatable every year. I personally go into every game assuming the Nittany Lions will win because I think they legitimately can. That being said, this is the best I have seen Penn State in the Clifford era and the worst I have seen Ohio State in the Meyer-Day era.

Will Pegler: Absolutely. CJ Stroud and Ohio State’s offense have looked inconsistent through three games, and I’m excited to see what Penn State’s defense can do against the Buckeyes. All that being said, a road victory over Ohio State may not mean “running the table” in the Big Ten, as Iowa waits in the West.

Gabe Angieri: I mean, yes. I think Ohio State has shown that it’s very beatable this year, especially with quarterback CJ Stroud’s struggles so far. However, these are still the big, bad Buckeyes we’re talking about, so they certainly shouldn’t be written off. At the end of the day, Penn State is a damn good football team, and I think it can definitely put up a good fight against Ryan Day’s squad.

Ryan Parsons: I said this before the season and I’m standing by my prediction. CJ Stroud and the best of the Buckeyes’ offense has looked the worst it has in recent years, so this is undoubtedly Penn State’s best shot to take down Ohio State, especially with the way the Nittany Lions’ defense has been playing.

‘Iowa Will Be The Toughest Regular Season Game Left On The Schedule’

Sam Brungo: Honestly, yeah. Probably.

Will Pegler: As I said earlier, Iowa is no joke. As tough as I place Kinnick Stadium is to play in, however, a road win against Ohio State has been the toughest game on Penn State’s schedule for the past several seasons, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Gabe Angieri: Maybe? It’s either Ohio State or Iowa, folks. Going into Kinnick Stadium is always a battle, and when you pair that with the fact that Iowa is ranked No. 5, James Franklin’s squad may be in trouble. However, we don’t know how things will play out the next few weeks for the Hawkeyes. I’m going to go with a hard maybe on this one.

Ryan Parsons: I still think Ohio State will be a tougher opponent. With the way things look right now, it might be easy to overreact and say Iowa will be harder to beat, but Ohio State is still Ohio State. Iowa is always tricky — and this is one of its best years in recent memory — but heading into The Shoe is no easy task. It might be a wash when things are all said and done, so this isn’t a crazy take.

‘Mike Yurcich Has Already Lived Up To His Reputation As An Offensive Mastermind’

Sam Brungo: Yurcich has elevated this offense so much from last year’s COVID season, albeit he does have more weapons. From the passing game to the trickery to the refreshing under-center look, this offense has the ability to break a big play at any moment. If he keeps this up for the rest of the season, Penn State may be looking for a new offensive coordinator once again.

Will Pegler: Jahan Dotson has referred to Yurcich as an “offense mastermind,” and I think this description fits him perfectly so far. On one of Brenton Strange’s massive catches Saturday night, the Nittany Lions literally had offensive lineman Caedan Wallace lined up in the slot. Who does that? Yurcich’s creativity and willingness to do things Penn State hasn’t done in a long time is refreshing, to say the least. He’s lived up to the hype so far.

Gabe Angieri: Mike Yurcich is an absolute genius and you can’t tell me otherwise. I’m all in on the fiery coach, as are his players.

Ryan Parsons: The offense has looked awesome so far. With the way Penn State mixed in trickery and razzle-dazzle against Auburn, “mastermind” isn’t too crazy of an adjective, especially when you factor in how many players have used similar language. Bouncing back from last year was no easy task, but Yurcich has gone above and beyond his role so far.

‘Penn State Will Beat Villanova By No Less Than 100 Points’

Sam Brungo: I am starting to get more confident with Penn State under new head coach Micah Shrewsberry, especially with the more recruits he’s brought in, but I just don’t think the Nittany Lions are ready to compete with the likes of a basketball powerhouse like Villanova yet. Maybe soon, though — Wait… what’s that? Villanova has a football team? And they’re playing Penn State? In Beaver Stadium? The week after the WhiteOut? Smells like a blowout to me.

Penn State couldn’t overlook Ball State… this game, it probably can. Get the postgame beers ready.

Will Pegler: Why not? Noon kickoffs get weird, folks.

Gabe Angieri: Penn State will not beat Villanova by 100 points. Penn State will put up 60+ points, though.

Ryan Parsons: That’s a lot of points. Let’s go with 80.

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