Much of the offseason discussion about James Franklin seems to suggest the 2017 season will be an important one for him as he enters his third season as Penn State’s head coach. After two straight seven-win seasons since taking over the program while also working to rebuild the depth across the board with a renewed recruiting strategy, fans are itching to see Penn State take a noticeable step forward this fall.
Penn State continues to rebuild an offensive line that has been embarrassed far more often than not the last two seasons, and a new starting quarterback steps in to run things on the field with a rising sophomore running back in Saquon Barkley continuing to amaze. A new offensive coordinator brings new optimism as well, but how quickly can everything come together? The schedule throws some good obstacles in the way in the first month of the season with a road trip to Pittsburgh and another to Michigan with a home game against a feisty Temple in the middle.
The season has yet to start, and already the pressure is on for Franklin and his Nittany Lions.
2016 Penn State Nittany Lions Schedule
Bye: Week 7
— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. McGuire also writes for CollegeFootballTalk.com, TheComeback.com and hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.