James Franklin hurting from punch to ribs from Penn State QB


Penn State who found itself ranked as high as #3 in the country this year had a disappointing finish including a blown lead to Ohio St and a freakish loss to Michigan St.

The 1987 Fiesta Bowl between Penn State and Miami remains among the most important games in college football.

McSorley must have a big day through the air, and that could be tough because Washington only allows 185 yards passing per game.

Washington had the nation's top run defense during the regular season, allowing 92 yards per game, but Barkley matched that on one run in the second quarter. The Nittany Lions were up 28-14 on Washington.

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.

Hamilton had one of his best games of the season on Saturday. Also, each team is a near mirror-image in terms of offensive skill players and shut-down defense.

Both enter the game with 10-2 records.

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Chris Petersen's team finally reached the end zone in the second quarter, with Jake Browning's two-yard touchdown run capping a four-play, 75-yard drive to cut the deficit in half.

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.

Barkley is a junior, but could decide to leave for the NFL. A running back who can make explosive plays. But, as Coach Petersen was quick to point out during his Fiesta Bowl media availability when asked if he told his Washington players about his Fiesta Bowl success as the coach of Boise State: "They don't care about that".

Some people out west may not feel that the SEC deserves to have two teams in the College Football Playoff, but the Pac-12 has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it had absolutely no business even sniffing the playoff.

"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.

This year's Fiesta Bowl should be very entertaining. Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley will play in this game after some speculation he may not because of his leaving for the National Football League draft.