No. 5 Penn State (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Georgia State (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt)
Beaver Stadium, State College, Pennsylvania
Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network
Fifth-ranked Penn State hosts Georgia State in its final non-conference tune-up.
Scouting Penn State
The No. 5 Nittany Lions beat Pitt, 33-14, last week, as Saquon Barkley generated 183 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and Trace McSorley threw for three scores. Tight end Mike Gesicki caught two of those TD passes, and has scored four times in PSU’s first two games. The defense forced three turnovers and limited wide receiver Quadree Henderson, the Panthers’ biggest offensive threat, to 33 all-purpose yards; he had generated 201 in Pitt’s 2016 victory over the Lions. Safety Marcus Allen led the way with 12 tackles, one of which resulted in a safety, and cornerback Grant Haley contributed an interception and a sack.
Scouting Georgia State
The Panthers, idle last week, lost, 17-10, to Tennessee State in their opener, which was also their first game under new coach Shawn Elliott. Quarterback Conner Manning, who in 2016 completed 55.5 percent of his passes for 2,684 yards and 16 touchdowns (with 13 interceptions), departed that game with a head injury but later returned, and is expected to play this week. Wide receiver Penny Hart missed much of last season with a foot injury, but in 2015 caught 71 passes for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns to earn Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors. GSU’s defense has allowed just two plays of 50 yards or more in its last 13 games.
Storyline to watch
The Panthers did push Wisconsin before losing, 23-17, last year in Madison, so PSU will have to show up. But barring complacency, the bigger issue for the Lions will be whether they can keep everybody healthy for next week’s Big Ten opener at Iowa.
What’s at stake
A payday for the Panthers.
Penn State 55, Georgia State 7