Penn State football’s goal every week is to go 1-0.
In potential “statement games” this season, the team’s 0-1.
PSU had a chance to turn skeptics into believers against Ohio State in Columbus Oct. 21 and didn’t capitalize, instead losing 20-12.
In the meantime, Penn State beat two teams it’s much better than Indiana and Maryland. But neither of those teams is on Ohio State’s level.
Michigan’s just as good as Ohio State, if not better, and Penn State’s top CB, Kalen King, feels that this is a “statement game” for Penn State’s defense.
“A lot of people around the country believe that Penn State is unable to take the next step,” King said. “I feel like this game is a perfect opportunity for us to go out and prove ourselves against a powerhouse team like Michigan.”
PSU and, especially, coach James Franklin have received plenty of criticism for its failures in big games.
Since Franklin took over in 2014, Penn State’s combined 4-15 against Ohio State and Michigan.
King’s been on the team since 2021, and since then, Penn State’s a combined 0-5 against Ohio State and Michigan.
In the most recent shortcoming, King played what he feels was one of his worst games at PSU, given the daunting task of guarding the best college receiver in America: Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.
But he doesn’t view the experience as entirely negative.
“Just looking back on that, I’m grateful that I had an opportunity to go against a team like Ohio State,” King said. Those guys always produce the top talents and very great talents at receiver. Just all around the ball, really.”
Now, King will hope for a much better result against Michigan.
“I definitely think this is a statement game for us,” he said, “and I’m definitely looking forward to being out there with my guys.”