James Franklin hurting from punch to ribs from Penn State QB

Beth Cruz
December 31, 2017

He said the best advice he received from former Penn State players who have gone on to National Football League careers is that at some point "you're going to want to come back to this moment". The Huskies ended their season in grand fashion blowing out #13 Washington St 41-14. The senior led the Huskies this year with 62 receptions for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. What sets Barkley apart from other highly talented running backs is his ability to make catches. Penn State was 7-4-1 against the spread this year, and failed to cover in three of their final four games. And Barkley is No. 1 in all-purpose yards with 2,154 yards (179.5 ypg). But there was one thing that was bothering him. Vea was also the first Husky to earn Pac-12 Player of the Year on defense since 1996. For a time earlier this season, the first team All-Big Ten running back was the Heisman Trophy front-runner. Lazard closed his record-setting career with 10 grabs (tying a Liberty Bowl record) for 142 yards and a touchdown, while Kempt hit 24-of-38 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns.

For head coach James Franklin in particular, it's a chance to send the seniors off with a win - the fifth-year seniors who had no guarantee of any bowl games because of NCAA sanctions at the time they came to Penn State, the fourth-year seniors who put their faith in a new head coach and stayed committed to the program.

"Well, we've been holding a watch party for years now for those individuals who just can't make it to the game", said Jacqueline Piatt of Penn State Wilkes-Barre's Student Activities. If they can control Barkley in the return game and Pettis can break some big returns the Huskies might just have a shot.

Penn State enters the Fiesta Bowl with a with an unblemished 6-0 mark all-time.

Likewise, Petersen is reticent to bring up the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, when his Boise State team defeated Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime. He doesn't expect that to be the case Saturday even though both teams were undefeated at midseason and considered College Football Playoff contenders.

Penn State wants to cap another strong season, this time with a bowl victory, while Washington wants to prove that last season's playoff team was no fluke.

"I do feel like both teams are really excited about this opportunity and playing in this game", he said.

"Talking about the Fiesta Bowl from back then, it doesn't have a whole lot of value for what we're trying to do today", Franklin said.

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