PSU season snapshot: 2016

A daily series featuring each Penn State football season from 1947-2019:

Year: 2016

Coach: James Franklin

Final record: 11-3

Final ranking: AP No. 7, Coaches No. 7

Regular-season wins: Kent State, Temple, Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan State

Regular-season losses: Pitt, Michigan

Big Ten championship: Beat Wisconsin, 38-31

Bowl game: Lost to USC, 52-49, in the Rose Bowl

Team stat leaders: Saquon Barkley rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 TDs; Trace McSorley passed for 3,614 yards and 29 TDs; Chris Godwin caught 59 passes for 982 yards and 11 TDs; Tyler Davis made 22 of 24 field goal attempts; Marcus Allen had 110 tackles; Garrett Sickels and Evan Schwan each had 6 sacks

All-Americans: None

Neil Rudel’s take: It didn’t start well. An early 42-39 loss at Pitt was sealed when DaeSean Hamilton (who later became the career receptions leader) dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass, which was followed by a 49-10 drubbing at Michigan. Fans were starting to mutter about James Franklin, who at that point was 16-14 through two-plus seasons, but AD Sandy Barbour pledged her support. Then the Lions righted themselves with an overtime win over Minnesota before shocking No. 2 Ohio State, a win created by Marcus Allen’s blocked field goal that Grant Haley returned 60 yards for a touchdown. The magical moment sent the fans, dressed in whiteout gear, flooding the Beaver Stadium field in what may have been the best home win of all-time. It served as a springboard to the Big Ten title (their fourth) as the Lions, led by Trace McSorley, overcame a 28-7 lead to beat Wisconsin, 38-31, at Lucas Oil Stadium in their first Big Ten title game appearance. Sparked by Saquon Barkley’s electrifying 79-yard TD run, PSU overcame an early 27-14 deficit in the Rose Bowl but after leading 49-35, the Lion defense collapsed and USC prevailed 52-49. James Franklin earned national coach of the year honors.


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