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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
12/30/2017 12:09PM ET

PENN ST. (10-2) VS. WASHINGTON (10-2)
 

Site: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Kickoff: Saturday, 4 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Penn State by 2 ½.

All-time series: Penn State leads 2-0.

Last meeting: Penn St. 13, Washington 10 (1983 Aloha Bowl).

PENN STATE

Coach: James Franklin (4th season, 35-17; overall 7th season, 59-32).

All-time postseason: 28-17-2.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to USC 52-49 in 2016 Rose Bowl.

Draft spotlight: *RB Saquon Barkley. Considered a generational talent in some eyes, the redshirt junior possesses an incredible blend of size, agility, acceleration, vision and pass-catching skills that will benefit any team. Though his rushing stats are moderate (1,134 yards), he’s accounted for 21 TDs.

Other Nittany Lions to watch: WR DaeSean Hamilton, TE Mike Gesicki, LB Jason Cabinda, FS Marcus Allen.

Lion Tracks: Penn State makes its 7th Fiesta Bowl trip, the most to any bowl destination in Lions history. The most memorable came in 1987, when PSU beat Miami 14-10 to win the national title. … Both of Penn State’s losses came on the road with less than two minutes to play. In all, the Lions have trailed for just 37:42 of game time.

WASHINGTON

Coach: Chris Peterson (4th season, 37-16; overall 12th season, 129-28).

All-time postseason: 17-18-1.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Alabama 24-7 in 2016 Peach Bowl (CFP semifinal).

Draft spotlight: WR Dante Pettis. A more well-rounded target than former teammate John Ross, who went in last year’s first round to Cincinnati. Not as fast as Ross, but a better route runner with better hands. Pettis has solid long speed and brings added value as the best punt returner in FBS annals.

Other Huskies to watch: C Coleman Shelton, *DL Vita Vea, DL Greg Gaines, LB Keishawn Beirria.

Husky Bites: Washington’s defense has given up just one scrimmage play of 40 or more yards, tops among FBS teams. UW allowed a rush of more than 35 yards or a pass over 40. … Overall, UW is No.1 in rush defense (92.3 yards) and 5the in total defense (277.4). … RB Myles Gaskin has scored nine TDs over the past three games, including four to help beat Washington State.

* underclass draft prospect