Athlon analyzes the Nittany Lions' 2015 football schedule.
James Franklin enters his second season in Happy Valley with his work cut out for him.
The quarterback position is settled and the defense should be in good shape under star coordinator Bob Shoop, but his offensive line and running game are still major question marks.
There is a lot to like about this team considering it claims one of the best rosters in the league, but it won just twice in Big Ten play last year and is facing another brutal East Division schedule.
2015 Penn State Nittany Lions Schedule
Bye: Week 11
|1.||Sept. 5||Philadelphia, PA|
|The in-state rivalry has been played 43 times and the Owls haven't won since 1941. Penn State owns a 39-3-1 record all-time, but this Matt Rhule-coached Temple team is much better than Phily has seen in years.|
|2.||Sept. 12||State College, PA|
|These two met in 1900 (Buffalo won) and 2007 (Penn State won) but that's it. Look for Penn State to try to get the ground game going against a team that ranked 78th against the run a year ago.|
|3.||Sept. 19||State College, PA|
|The sneaky good Northeast and now Big Ten East rivalry has been played 25 times with PSU winning 23 of the meetings. This was an instant classic a year ago after a Christian Hackenberg rally. Rutgers last defeated the Lions in 1988.|
|4.||Sept. 26||State College, PA|
|The Aztecs will be a long way from home — try 2,541 miles — when they travel to State College for the first time in school history. In fact, this will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.|
|5.||Oct. 3||State College, PA|
|One team runs the ball like crazy and the other one can't run it at all. This long-time East Coast matchup has been played 25 times dating back to the 1800s. Penn State is 13-10-2 all-time against the Knights but has won every meeting (9-0) since 1966.|
|6.||Oct. 10||State College, PA|
|Penn State has dominated this series since moving to the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are 17-1 all-time again the Hoosiers, with the only loss coming two years ago in Bloomington.|
|7.||Oct. 17||Columbus, OH|
|Eastern Heavyweights The Buckeyes' toughest challenge en route to their national title last season was an overtime win over PSU in Happy Valley. Ohio State holds the series lead 17-13, has won three straight and five of the last six. However, Penn State is actually 2-2 in its last four trips to Columbus.|
|8.||Oct. 24||Baltimore, MD|
|Budding Rivalry Much like Rutgers, this rivalry should continue to blossom as James Franklin looks to recruit the DC/Maryland corridor. Until last year's 20-19 win, the Terps hadn't beaten Penn State since 1961. The Lions brag a 35-2-1 all-time mark against Maryland.|
|9.||Oct. 31||State College, PA|
|Revenge Game I A shocking late-season loss (16-14) in Champaign helped get Illinois to a bowl. Penn State can't afford to lose this game again in 2015. The Lions are 17-5 vs. the Illini all-time, including 8-1 at home.|
|10.||Nov. 7||Evanston, IL|
|Revenge Game II Losing at home to a team that failed to make a bowl game was no way to start Big Ten play a year ago for Franklin. Look for Penn State to exact revenge in Evanston this year — a place where the Lions have won three straight.|
|12.||Nov. 21||State College, PA|
|Should Penn State win this rivalry game and survive most of the Big Ten schedule, they could be in a good spot heading into the final weekend. Michigan is one of only a few B1G programs with an all-time winning record against Penn State (11-7). Penn State won 18-13 in Ann Arbor a year ago.|
|13.||Nov. 28||East Lansing, MI|
|Land Grant Trophy One of the most bizarre rivalry trophies in college football is on the line when these two meet in the regular-season finale. Additionally, grasp of the all-time series record also hangs in the balance, as the two have split 29 previous meetings (14-14-1).|
Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 Big Ten Preview