Roar Lions Roundtable: Penn State's Biggest Trap Game

By Matt de Bear on August 27, 2019 at 8:00 am
Aug 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck leads his team out onto the field before a game against the New Mexico State Aggies at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Upsets are as much a part of college football as the bands, student sections, and tailgating. Appalachian State over Michigan, Stanford (when they were bad) over USC (when they were good), and Purdue destroying Ohio State are just a few of our favorite recent examples. Which plucky upstart do the Nittany Lions need to look out for this season?


MINNESOTA

Craig Fritz: The clear, and probably only real choice is Minnesota. The other teams on Penn State's schedule are really good or really bad. The Gophers are getting better and who knows what can happen in November in Minneapolis.

Dan SmithWhile this is mostly because it's a road game, Minnesota showed itself last year to be a team that can look very impressive one week, and look utterly incompetent the next.

Matt Filipovits: The Gophers are a program on the rise. They should be in the thick of the Big Ten West race when this game rolls around, so you can bet they’ll be up for it.

John MorganA cold, November game in Minnesota just seems like the obvious choice.

Michael Stanley: Typically, the Gophers can be chalked up as an automatic W. But PJ Fleck has transformed them into a legit 7-9 win team capable of upsetting some of the big dogs. This game is also on the road.

Nick Polak: The Gophers could be anywhere from a five-win team to a 10-win team this fall. Penn State draws them right after a three-game stretch that will see them travel to Iowa City, face Michigan at home, and go to East Lansing. They do get a bye before the Minnesota game though, which helps.

Matt de Bear: It's hard to say anyone other than Minnesota. Heading to the Twin Cities after a three-game stretch of Iowa, Michigan, and Michigan State is tough enough. Add in that PJ Fleck has the Gophers trending the right direction, and this one should raise a red flag or two. At least there is a bye week in there to help reset things before the stretch run.

IOWA

Bill DiFilippo: Walking into Kinnick is always scary. Walking into Kinnick with a young offense that will have played one other road game up to that point is even scarier. Add in that Michigan is the following week and this one is horrifying.

MICHIGAN STATE

Jarrod Prugar: A loss to Michigan could spiral into the typical multiple losses in a row column with MSU next on the list. A win against Michigan could boost their egos and set up for a let down against Sparty.

PURDUE

Kevin Fay: They have a great coach and one of the most explosive playmakers in the country in Rondale Moore. This is the week before the meat of Penn State's schedule, and could see a young team looking ahead a bit.

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