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Running back Saquon Barkley is averaging an FBS-leading 217 all-purpose yards per game.

GameDay set for Penn State’s Old Man lawn; Saquon Barkley named to midseason All-America team

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GameDay set for Old Main lawn

Penn State announced Monday that the Old Main lawn will be the site for ESPN’s College GameDay this Saturday, before the No. 2 Nittany Lions host No. 19 Michigan, and’s Greg Pickel reviewed the guidelines for fans.

Foremost among them is those wishing to inhabit the pit behind the stage occupied by ESPN’s crew can begin lining up at 4 a.m., for admittance at 6:30. Each fan will be thoroughly screened.

The university had previously announced this will mark GameDay’s 16th appearance at Penn State, and the first since 2009.

Saquon Barkley honored by TSN

The Sporting News named Lions running back Saquon Barkley to its midseason All-America team – a no-brainer, seeing as Barkley has rushed for 649 yards (6.4 per carry) and is averaging an FBS-best 217 all-purpose yards per game.’s Bruce Feldman continues to list Barkley as the Heisman Trophy favorite, but writes that Barkley’s competition closed the gap with the Nittany Lions off last Saturday.

Parallel passers

Mike Poorman of draws a parallel between quarterback Trace McSorley and former Nittany Lions QB John Shaffer, who led Penn State to the 1986 national championship. Shaffer won 25 of 26 collegiate starts, and 66 of 67 from eighth grade forward. McSorley is 17-3 at Penn State and 72-8 since the start of his high school career. Asked about the challenges of playing the position in Happy Valley, Shaffer told Poorman, “There’s a confidence that sometimes you have and then sometimes you have to pretend to have as the game begins or as the game progresses.”

Tracing Trace McSorley’s throws

Andrew Callahan of Lions247 provides an exhaustive breakdown of McSorley’s passing this season, and reaches the expected conclusion: While defenses have been bent on taking away the deep ball, McSorley has shown himself to be far more efficient on underneath stuff than he was in 2016.

Half-season in review

Matt Herb of Blue White Illustrated provides the highs and lows from the first half of Penn State’s season, and there are few surprises. Barkley is the MVP so far, McSorley’s game-winning touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson against Iowa is the biggest play and Barkley’s 44-yarder against the Hawkeyes is the best run. Some stats to ponder: The Nittany Lions, who struggled out of the gate in 2016, have outscored opponents 76-0 in the first quarter and kicker Tyler Davis, nearly automatic before this season, is 6 for 13 on field goals.

Women’s volleyball team is No. 1

According to the university’s official website, the women’s volleyball team has leaped to No. 1 in the nation after improving to 17-1 with victories last week over Michigan State and Michigan, while Florida, previously the top-ranked team, fell to Kentucky. Also, according to the website, sophomore Libero Kendall White was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

Vivid memories

Safe to say that Penn State’s players recall the 49-10 loss at Michigan in 2016. Linebacker Manny Bowen posted a postgame quote from Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight on Twitter, and Black Shoe Diaries tweeted out a screen grab of safety Marcus Allen leaving the field after the rout. “We’ll never get embarrassed like that ever (again),” he tells Barkley.

Also in the Land of 10

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