The phrase “trap game” has become cliche at the point, but there’s no denying that each year a few major upsets occur when it appears the highly-ranked and seemingly invulnerable team loses after getting too complacent after a major victory, or gets caught peeking ahead at an upcoming opponent. This year Penn State will enter the season with a huge target on their backs as defending Big Ten champs and a high preseason ranking. With this in mind, which game do you believe is the biggest trap for Penn State in 2017?
While the focus on the schedule is the midseason slog of Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State, there are other portions of the schedule that could get tricky. My biggest concern for a trap game is week four at Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished the season playing their best football- upsetting Michigan before blowing out Illinois and Nebraska. They return plenty of talent and could ultimately take the Big Ten West Division for the second time in three years. But there’s also the Kinnick factor, where strange occurrences seem to be the norm, especially when prime time kickoffs are involved.
This was confirmed for me last season. One of my best friends, a diehard Michigan, was convinced all season long that the Wolverines would slip up against Iowa. Even while Michigan was trouncing teams on a weekly basis early in the season, he would continue to tell me “They’re going to lose to Iowa. Weird things happen at Kinnick at night.” As we all learned, Michigan’s offense- which was averaging just under 50 points per game at that point- was completely derailed, and the Wolverines season went into a complete tailspin following the loss. I’m not drawing parallels between 2016 Michigan and 2017 Penn State, but until the Nittany Lions come out of that game with a victory, I’ll keep thinking the same thing- weird things happen at Kinnick at night.
So what say you, BSD reader? Does Penn State have a potential trap game in 2017 that’s causing you concern?