No. 16 Penn State looking to bounce back at Beaver Stadium

No. 16 Penn State looking to bounce back at Beaver Stadium (Penn State photo)

UNIVERSITY PARK -- In a matter of two weeks, Penn State went from riding high as the No. 2-ranked team in the country to watching post season hopes slip away after two straight losses. Now they are getting back to the comforts of home as they look to bounce back against a 4-5 Rutgers team.

"It's just good to get back to your bearings. And being in an environment that you're comfortable playing in," receiver DeAndre Thompkins said.

When only four points have determined the Nittany Lions fate, the mindset has been focused on getting back to basics.

"You do all the things necessary to put your program and your organization and your team in the best position to be successful," head coach James Franklin. "So you focus on the formula, not necessarily on the goals, because goals in a lot of ways can limit you at certain times."

For the players, the ups and downs of the season have provided an opportunity to mature.

"Whether it's a win or a loss, with maturity you come and you know, even though we've won, ‘hey, I did not play a perfect game. There's things that I need to work on and improve," Thompkins said.

Quarterback Trace McSorley became Penn State's career touchdown passing leader against Michigan State, but the attention was once again on the team's run game struggles. An area of improvement they will focus on this week.

"And that's what we do every week to try to improve our physicality. So I think that will be our mindset this week, and just try to be as physical as we can against Rutgers," offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez said.

Penn State's annual homecoming game will provide an opportunity for the Nittany Lions to get back to their winning ways against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday.

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