"The Lions Den" 2012 Penn State Nittany Lions Season Preview 2011 Record: (13-0, 8-0) 2011 Bowl: BCS Championship vs USC (W) Coach: Coach Hokie Effect (35-4 at PSU) Returning Leaders Rushing: SR Brandon Beachum, 309 yds 5 TD Passing: SO Jonathan Johnson, 1240 yds 9 TD Receiving: SR AJ Price, 64 rec 1221 yds 9 TD; SR Devon Smith 62 rec 155 11 TD Tackles: JR Gary Berry CB, 86tkls Sacks: SR Jack Crawford DE, 10 sacks Interceptions: JR Darrell Givens CB, 5 INT The 2011 season was a season to remember. Penn State put together one of the most dominating seasons in OFFL-W history. The team was known for its intimidating D and balanced but deadly O. Penn State ran tore through thier schedule and when faced against user opponents outscored the opposition 131-38. Expect the Nittany Lion "Dynasty" to continue in 2012. STARTING QB SO Jonathan Johnson (85ovr, 86thp, 87tha) SR Matthew McGloin (87ovr, 89thp, 89tha) The coaches favor Johnson because of his mobility, but McGloin has worked very hard in the offseason to make this a QB battle. Expect the starter to be on a short leash. STARTING BACKFIELD RB- SR Brandon Beachum (94ovr, 91spd, 96acc, 96btk) RB- JR Curtis Dukes (90ovr, 90spd, 95acc, 94btk) FB- FR Raymond Smith (74ovr) Expect the Nittany Lions to be a run first pass second team this year until the QB position proves itself. Beachum should be the workhorse, but Dukes should see some quality playing time as well. STARTING RECEIVERS WR- JR Justin Brown (95ovr, 96spd) WR- SR Devon Smith (93ovr, 98spd, 99acc) WR- SR AJ Price (90ovr) TE- SR Mark Wedderburn (89ovr) A solid recieving corp should help provide a balance attack this year. Look for the speedster Smith to be the big playmaker this year. STARTING O-LINE LT- JR Eric Shrive (91ovr) LG- SO Patrick Harris (86ovr) C- JR Ty Howle (92ovr) RG- SO Atari Harris (87ovr) RT- SR Matt Stankiewitch (95ovr) Overall not the best o-line Penn State has assembled, but should provide holes big enough for the RB's to make plays. STARTING D-LINE DE- SR Jack Crawford (99ovr, 88spd) DE- SR Pete Massaro (89ovr, 80spd) DT- JR Jordan Hill (97ovr) DT- JR Chance Raymond (91ovr) This will be the Nittany Lions strong suit. Crawford is a super star. If the front 4 can provide pressure on its own expect big things on D. STARTING LB OLB- SR Michael Yanich (89ovr) OLB- SR Michael Zordich (84 ovr) MLB- SO Justin Coleman (89ovr) Not the studs we are used to at the LB position here at Penn State with 3 new starters. Coleman is expected to be the next great Nittany Lion LB. STARTING DB CB- JR Darrell Givens (96ovr, 93mcv, 95zcv) CB- JR Gary Berry (91ovr, 96spd) FS- JR Gerald Hodges (93ovr) SS- FR Victor Williams (82ovr) SS- FR Darrell Johnson (80ovr) Experiance and speed for the most part in this years secondary. Givens, Berry, and Hodges were all AA last year. The one question is at the SS position starting 2 FR in the 4-2-5 set. SPECIAL TEAMS K- FR John Grant (76ovr) P- FR Damon Everett (73ovr) Both kicker and punter are FR this year. Enough said. KR- SR Devon Smith (99ovr, 98spd) KR- JR Gary Berry (91ovr, 96spd) PR- SR Devon Smith (99ovr, 98spd) Put your fastest guys in open space and cross your fingers. The overall outlook for the 2012 Nittany Lions looks good despite a few question marks. Expect the offense to play a safe ball control style and let their defense make their mark. If the QB position develops, Penn State will be in BCS talks at the end of the year.