Penn St.: Expect Another Great Season

Brandon BoydContributor IAugust 4, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 22:  Darryl Clark #17 of the Penn State Nittany Lions smells a rose after clinching the Big Ten title and clinching a bid to the Rose Bowl after the game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 22, 2008 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State won the game 49-18. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Last year, the Nittany Lions ended their season with a whimper.

Losing to USC in the Rose Bowl sent them a message: To be the man, you've got to be the man.

Just like last year, they have a great chance to do just that.

While they lost their top three WRs in Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood, they have kept plenty of talent.

And to coach them, the Nittany Lions have the timeless legend himself, Joe Paterno.

The Spread HD offense returns this season, and once again, Daryll Clark will lead the offense.

Freshman Kevin Newsome and future recruits Paul Jones and Robert Bolden will continue the streak of athletic, dually-talented QBs (that started with Michael Robinson).

The other key returnee on offense is Evan Royster. Royster, a potential top-10 pick in the NFL Draft, is a bruising back who can be relied upon if the passing game starts to flounder (which it shouldn't).

On defense, while they lost the likes of Aaron Maybin, Maurice Evans, and Josh Gaines, they still have a plethora of talent, starting with the linebacking corps.

Do you miss the days of LaVar Arrington wreaking havoc on opposing Big Ten players?  Let me introduce you to a similar player, Navorro Bowman.

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Most die-hard fans already know his name, but expect his production to pick up even more with the return of Sean Lee.

On the line, Ollie Ogbu and Jared Odrick combine to form a formidable duo.  The defensive line won't be a problem for the Lions.

The secondary provides the biggest question mark on defense, as they have to replace four starters. One player I think can step up is safety Drew Astorino, who won high school state championships in both football and basketball.

However, besides the Lions' talent, there is another reason to expect success from Penn State.

The Nittany Lions' schedule, which is about as strong as an 85-pound bikini model, will be the key to their success

Who are the out-of-conference opponents for the Nittany Lions?  They are Akron, Syracuse, Temple, and Eastern Illinois.

Eastern Illinois, who knew such a college even existed?

Here's my frank opinion.  If the Nittany Lions lose more than one game this season, the year is a disappointment. 

Don't expect that to happen.  They should once again reign as Big Ten champions and get to a BCS bowl.

Only this time, they'll be looking to roar like the Lions that they are.

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