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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 Fiesta Bowl Washington vs Penn State: Preview and Prediction

2017 Fiesta Bowl Washington vs Penn State: Preview and Prediction

Fiesta Bowl Preview
Publish Date: 12/30/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

 

FIESTA BOWL
Who: Penn State (10-2) vs. Washington (10-2)
When: 4 p.m. ET, Dec. 30
Where: U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

This is another outstanding bowl match-up between two explosive teams that should come down to the wire. Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley will play in this game after some speculation he may not because of his leaving for the NFL draft.

Penn State RB Saquon Barkley vs. Washington DT Vita Vea

Barkley is maybe the most complete running back in the nation with 1,134 yards and a league-high 16 rushing TDs. And Barkley is No. 1 in all-purpose yards with 2,154 yards (179.5 ypg).

Vea was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Vea was also the first Husky to earn Pac-12 Player of the Year on defense since 1996. The 6-5, 340-pounder is the centerpiece of a Husky defense that led the conference in rushing, scoring and total defense. This is a premier match-up of a great running back against a great run defense.

Trace McSorley vs Jake Browning

Two of the best quarterbacks in the nation will face off in this game and they will do it against two defense that are capable of stopping or at least limiting what they can do. McSorley is one of the most dynamic signal-callers in the nation, leading the Big Ten in passing (269.0 ypg). He hit 65 percent of his passes for 3,228 yards with 26 TDs and eight picks. Browning on the other hand is no slouch, passing for 2,544 yards, 18 touchdowns, five interceptions.

Dante Pettis Husky return man

Pettis could be the wild card in this game because he is the best return man in the country and should force Penn State to kick away from him, which could then give the Huskies a significant advantage when it comes to field position. But kicking to Pettis is a danger I can’t imagine Penn State would want to risk.

Prediction: This game has all the makings of a down to the wire toss-up. With that being said, I think Browning will make the plays at the end of the game to win it for the Huskies.

Huskies 27  Lions 23

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