3 expectations that Penn State football must meet in 2024

After another 10-2 finish last year, Penn State football needs to check these three boxes in season 11 of James Franklin's tenure in Happy Valley.
Delaware v Penn State football
Delaware v Penn State football / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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3. Penn State needs an elite defense this fall

Last year, despite some offensive woes, Penn State football remained quite competitive with top-ranked teams like Michigan and Ohio State based solely off of the performance of its elite defense. Yet, with key pieces leaving for the NFL and ex-defensive coordinator Manny Diaz now coaching at Duke, a lot of pressure is on new defensive coordinator Tom Allen to keep the Nittany Lions at the top of the defensive charts.

During last weekend's Penn State football spring game, the Lions' defensive unit looked pretty good; however, it will undoubtedly be tested early and often throughout the 2024 season. Penn State must face all kinds of unique offenses, spanning from Ohio State's elite weapons to USC's high-flying offense to Wisconsin's ground-and-pound scheme.

It's a tall order for Tom Allen, especially in year one, but he is a very capable defensive coach and should be up for the task. If Penn State football is going to compete for any titles -- both regional and national -- this fall, its defense must be top-notch once again.

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