"They committed to Penn State at a time that it probably wasn't the sexy thing to do". Both teams have a great deal of respect for one another.
"Whenever it hits me", Barkley said Thursday morning at a news conference for the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.
While Penn State will have to contend with Ohio State in the Big Ten, Washington should enter the 2018 season as Pac-12 favorites with Stanford lurking. Both violated unspecified team rules, the school said. The Huskies have many offensive weapons to pick apart their opponent.
The Washington Huskies have scored 36.9 points per game this season, so keeping them out of the end zone will be no easy task.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning is extremely good at keeping plays alive with his feet. Backup wide receiver Irvin Charles was also dismissed. The senior led the Huskies this year with 62 receptions for 721 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Pac-12 is 1-7 so far in the postseason. He has nine scores in his career. If their offense or special teams were to falter, their defense should be able to keep the game close. Standing against him will be The Huskies and their top ranked rush defense that looks to force Penn State to take their game to the air.
The Huskies play a 3-4 defensive style.
A year ago in the Rose Bowl, USC quarterback Sam Darnold made numerous big plays after getting out of the pocket. It's hard to imagine that trend changing dramatically against a UW defensive line featuring Vita Vea and Greg Gaines. Washington's young defense will be a year older and a year better with safety Taylor Rapp and cornerback Myles Bryant highlighting a talented secondary. The worst position-group on the field could be Penn State's o-line, which will of course be tasked with moving Vea et al. Despite ranking 27th in total offense, Penn State's offensive unit will be a key to victory in the Fiesta Bowl. They are sixth nationally averaging almost 42 points scored per game. He accumulated over 1,500 yards from scrimmage this season. This season he corralled 47 passes for 594 yards including three touchdowns. There will be plenty of times times that redshirt junior quarterback Trace McSorley will use the passing attack. The trio combined this year for 1883 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Penn State took the opening kick with Miles Sanders instead of Saquon Barkley. Defensive ends Shareef Miller and Shaka Toney led the Lions with four sacks apiece. Penn State may have a few more playmakers, but on balance these are very similar teams coming from similar places.
What if Penn State closed the Trojans out? The Nittany Lions seem to have made the desert their home-away-from-home. The first game of the day is the TaxSlayer Bowl, which has Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. The last meeting was a 13-10 win in the 1983 Aloha Bowl.
For instance, Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA played in the midst of coaching transitions.