After an up and down Regular Season that concluded Saturday night, the Penn State Nittany Lions have opted to end their Season and forego a potential Bowl Game. After a poor start to the season, the Nittany Lions finished 2020 on a high note, putting up 56 points on Illinois en route to their fourth straight Win. However, the players decided to end their Season there.
The Blue and White were tabbed as the 8th ranked Team out of the gate in the AP poll. Potential top Draft pick Micah Parsons opted out of the Season and starting Running Back Journey Brown had his career cut short due to a medical condition. After a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Indiana to open the Campaign, in which new-starting Halfback Noah Cain was lost for the Season, spirits dropped. Four more losses and Quarterback controversy followed, as Sean Clifford’s struggles let Will Levis into the fold. The number eight Team in the Country had fallen to 0-5, and unranked. Then, Penn State suddenly came out firing, winning four straight to close out the Season.
Ben Jones, a Penn State Football Reporter for StateCollege.com said the QB drama might actually have helped. The streak started with a road takedown of Michigan, and Clifford completed over 60% of his passes. He’d sustain that success against Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois, completing 62% percent or more of his throws in those games. With an opportunity to get even at 5-5, the players reportedly decided the Season should end there. Jones believes after the stress of this Season, that’s an understandable choice. Jones feels that PSU likely would have been Bowl bound thanks to their strong finish.