How Far Will the Nittany Lions Go in 2018? As Far as Trace McSorley Goes
The story of the 2018 Penn State Football team will start with the quarterback position. So why not start here with our season previews?
The team revolves around senior QB Trace McSorley. McSorley is among the most accomplished passers in Penn State history entering his senior season. He ranks first in many offensive categories including passing yards in a season, career passing touchdowns, touchdown passes in a season, yards of total offense, and total touchdowns. Several publications, including the Sporting News, list McSorley as the top QB in he country and a Heisman Trophy favorite in 2018. With a big senior campaign, McSorley can reach legendary status among other greats who have worn the blue and white.
Although he loses several weapons from an outstanding offense last season, McSorley has proven over the last two seasons that he can create plays himself. The 2017 Fiesta Bowl MVP will work with new offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne and look to build off the success of a huge bowl game. In the Fiesta Bowl, McSorley went 32-41 passing with 342 yards and two touchdowns. He also had incredible success on third down going a perfect 12-12 with 193 yards and two touchdowns. With Rahne running a similar shotgun formation spread offense as former offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead, the dual threat QB from Virginia will look to post similar huge numbers throughout the season.
The saying goes “if you have two quarterbacks, then you don’t have one”. However, James Franklin is very comfortable with backup Tommy Stevens seeing the field in a variety of roles. Stevens saw action at running back, wide out, and quarterback as a sophomore last season. If anything were to happen to McSorley, Stevens would step in and be expected to continue to lead the Nittany Lions toward a Big Ten Championship. However, until then, continue to expect to see Stevens all over the field in creative packages in order to get him the ball.
All in all, this team will go as far as their QB. And as the last two years have proven, Trace McSorley can take this team very, very far. With a standout senior season, the Heisman contender can lead this 2018 squad to the Big Ten Championship, a College Football Playoff berth, and forever cement his legacy at Penn State.