Penn State Finishes Eighth in Final Football Polls

| January 10, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After another 11-win season, the Penn State Football team finished in the Top 10 of both polls for the second-straight season. The Nittany Lions came in No. 8 in both the final Associated Press poll and the Amway Coaches poll.

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Additionally, Penn State was No. 9 in the final College Football Playoff Rankings.

Penn State’s eighth-place finish in the AP poll marks the 24th time in program history the Nittany Lions ended the season in the AP Top 10. Additionally, it is the first time since 2008 (No. 8) and 2009 (No. 9) Penn State finished in the Top 10 in back-to-back seasons. The Nittany Lions were No. 7 in the final poll of 2016. The Nittany Lions finished in the Top 10 of the Amway Coaches poll for the ninth time in program history.

The Nittany Lions ended the season 11-2 with a 35-28 win over No. 11 Washington in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The victory was Penn State’s 29th bowl victory, which ranks tied for eighth in FBS history, and was the seventh in the Fiesta Bowl. The 11-win season is the 16th in Penn State history and seventh since joining the Big Ten.

Junior running back Saquon Barkley was honored as the Paul Hornung Award winner for the most versatile player in college football, became Penn State’s 100th first-team All-American and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 2017. He was the only player in FBS this season with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards. His 1,271 rushing yards in 2017 rank 11th in program history, while his 632 receiving yards are the most in school history for a running back.

Junior quarterback Trace McSorley completed 66.5 percent of his passes en route to 3,570 passing yards, which is second in school history behind his 3,614 yards from the 2016 season. McSorley, who was a second-team All-Big Ten selection, has thrown a touchdown pass in 27 consecutive games. He also made plays with his feet, racking up 491 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Defensively, senior safety Marcus Allen earned third-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches. He was second on the team with 72 tackles and had one interception and two forced fumbles. Fellow senior linebacker Jason Cabinda led the team with 88 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss on the way to being named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches.

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