Will Penn State Break Its Losing Streak?
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For Penn State football fans, the 2021 season has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Dropping from the No. 4 spot on the college football AP poll to No. 22 is not an easy pill to swallow for fans of the Nittany Lions.
After losing three games in a row to Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State, some fans are feeling frustrated in the team's performance. Matt Weisbrot, a junior finance major, is one of them. “First game we got unlucky with the injury and then lost against Illinois, and we had to play one of the best teams in the country the next game, so it’s been pretty disappointing,” Weisbrot said.
The Lions had to cope with the loss of their starting quarterback Sean Clifford, who was injured in the second quarter of the Iowa game due to an undisclosed upper body injury. He returned to the field to play Illinois and Ohio State, but it wasn’t enough to get a win in either game.
The Nittany Lions lost to Illinois 20-18, which went into nine overtime sessions, breaking a record for the longest ever in a college football game. The following week Penn State lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 24-33.
To some fans, it isn’t only the quarterback to blame for the losses, however. Penn State football fan Zach Stanton, a junior marketing major said, “we need to improve on the offensive side of the ball and we need to create some kind of running game.” This year, the Lions offense has been able to gain 375.1 yards per game, which is less than in 2020, when they accumulated 430.3 yards per game, according to ESPN.
While some fans are unhappy with this season's turn of events, some students, like junior Jake Roth are still hopeful the Nittany Lions can pull off a comeback. “Hopefully we can win out, that would be nice,” Roth said. “I think we’re better or as good as the rest of the teams we play, so I think that's doable.”
Penn State is looking to break its losing streak this weekend when they go on the road to play the Maryland Terrapins. Both teams have a record of 5-3 coming into Saturday's game. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. at Capital One Field.
Gabrielle Teiner is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.