Following a second consecutive 11-win season and Top-10 finish, James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions begin life without Saquon Barkley in what should be a compelling 2018 campaign.
Every Penn State football game will be broadcast nationally on one of the following channels: ABC, Fox, Fox Sports 1, any of the ESPN channels, or the Big Ten Network (full schedule). Fortunately, even if you don’t have cable or a TV, you can watch one, some or all of these channels by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: Includes ABC, Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News and Big Ten Network
FuboTV: Includes Fox, Fox Sports 1, Big Ten Network and Big Ten Network alternate channels
Sling TV: Includes Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN News
All of these services allow you to watch live TV without a cable box or satellite or annual contract. All you need is an internet connection. Here’s a rundown of what they include, how to sign up, and how to watch a live stream of every PSU game in 2018:
Hulu with Live TV offers the perfect mix of entertainment and live sports for cord-cutters. Not only does it come with an extensive Netflix-like library of on-demand TV shows (Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc.) and movies, but it also gives you every channel that will broadcast a Penn State football game in 2018.
Penn State Football Channels Included: ABC (live in select markets), Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, Big Ten Network. There are a total of 50-plus channels included, as well as Hulu’s on-demand streaming library (a $7.99 or $11.99 per month value).
Pricing Options: Hulu With Live TV (with the “Limited Commercials” on-demand plan): $39.99 per month | Hulu With Live TV (with the “No Commercials” on-demand library plan): $43.99 per month
Extras: The regular Hulu With Live TV plan allows you to watch on two different devices at the same time, but you can watch on unlimited screens at the same time for $15 per month extra; 50 hours of cloud DVR is included, but you can upgrade to 200 hours of enhanced cloud DVR for $15 per month.
How to Sign Up: Go to the Hulu website and select “Sign Up Now”. After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras you want, then enter your payment information.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, simply return to the Hulu website and select “Start Watching” at the top of the page, and then “Live TV.” Scroll to whatever channel you want to start watching live TV.
If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the Hulu app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, select Smart TV’s and other devices.
Additionally, Nittany Lions games that are on ABC or any of the ESPN channels can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Hulu credentials to do that.
Though it also has a good amount of entertainment channels, FuboTV is one of the best streaming services for watching live sports. Among many other sports channels, the main “Fubo” package comes with Fox, FS1, the Big Ten Network and even the BTN “extra football game channels”, which will show other Big Ten games when there are multiple on at the same time. It also has a lot of nice user experience features, including an interface that lets you search by sport, included DVR, and my personal favorite, a “72-hour lookback” feature, which lets you watch games on-demand up to three days later even without recording them.
The one drawback is that the ESPN channels aren’t included, but for games on the Fox channels and the Big Ten Network, FuboTV is a really good option–and it’s a very good value for how many channels you’re getting.
Penn State Football Channels Included: Fox, Fox Sports 1, Big Ten Network and Big Ten Network alternate channels
Pricing Options: The “Fubo” package, which has 75-plus channels including the ones listed above, costs $39.99 for the first month, and then $44.99 per month after that.
Extras: Watch on two different devices at once; 30 hours of cloud DVR is included; also includes a “72-hour lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games and shows up to three days after they air, even if you forgot to DVR them
How to Sign Up: Head to the FuboTV website and select “Start Your Free Trial”. After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras if you want. You’ll need to enter your payment information, but if you cancel your subscription within seven days of signing up, you will not be charged.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, just return to the FuboTV website and navigate to a channel to start watching live TV. The Chrome browser is suggested.
If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the FuboTV app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones
The first to dive into the cable-free, live-TV streaming service, Sling TV’s biggest selling point continues to be its low price point. However, while the basic “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” is a cheap entry point, you need to get both plus the “Sports Extra” add-on to get most of the channels that will show Penn State football games, plus Big Ten Network isn’t included and DVR is another add-on, so in the end, the pricing isn’t all that great.
All things considered, Hulu with Live TV is still the better overall value, and FuboTV will get you BTN (though not ESPN).
Note that ABC isn’t included, but you’ll still be able to watch the ABC games online via the ESPN digital platforms
Penn State Football Channels Included: ESPN and ESPN2 are part of the “Sling Orange” bundle, Fox and FS1 are part of the “Sling Blue” bundle, and ESPNU and ESPN News are in the “Sports Extra” add-on
Price: Sling Orange: $25 per month | Sling Blue: $25 per month | Sling Orange + Blue: $40 per month | Sports Extra add-on: $10 per month ($5 per month if you add it to just Sling Orange)
Extras: Watch on one device at once with Sling Orange or Sling Orange+Blue; Watch on three devices at once with Sling Blue; 50 hours of cloud DVR is $5 per month extra.
How to Sign Up: Go to the Sling TV website and select “Watch Now 7 Days Free.” After creating an account, select your channel package and any extras you want, then enter your payment information to sign up.
How & Where to Watch: If you want to watch on your computer, just return to the Sling TV website and navigate to your desired channel to start watching live TV. If you want to watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device, you can do so via the Sling TV app, which is free to download for the following devices: Amazon Fire TV or TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Android phones and tablets, iPads and iPhones, Fire tablets, and Xbox One.
Additionally, PSU games that are on ABC or any of the ESPN channels can also be watched on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Sling TV credentials to do that.
Four points. That’s all that separated last year’s Penn State squad between a Fiesta Bowl bid and a potential trip to the college football playoff.
Following a thrashing of Michigan to improve to 7-0 in late October, the Nittany Lions faced the daunting task of playing Ohio State and Michigan State, both on the road, in back-to-back weeks. And they came painfully close to winning both–they lost the first by a single point after the Buckeyes scored a pair of touchdowns in the last five minutes, and they lost in Lansing by three when Matt Coghlin drilled a last-second field goal.
While the final result–11 wins, a win the previously mentioned Fiesta Bowl, and a No. 8 finish–was certainly nothing to scoff at, it’s not hard to have a sour taste imagining what could have been.
Fortunately, there shouldn’t be reason to dwell on that for much longer, as James Franklin has another astounding collection of talent heading into the 2018. The Nittany Lions are ranked 10th in the preseason AP poll.
Sure, there are some key pieces no longer there. All-world running back Saquon Barkley is the big one, but top wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton, tight end Mike Gesicki and the starting defensive back seven are all gone, too.
But they have arguably the conference’s best player at the most important position in Trace McSorley, who is back for his senior season after throwing for 3,570 yards, 28 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions last year. He’s a legitimate Heisman contender.
They also have a talented back to replace Barkley in Miles Sanders, a former 5-star recruit who has averaged 6.7 yards per carry in his collegiate career. That comes on a very small sample size (just 56 total carries), but he should have little problems replicating that kind of efficiency while running a fantastic offensive line that features five players with starting experience and two all-conference performers in Steven Gonzalez and Ryan Bates.
Defense could potentially be the big question mark after losing almost their entire secondary–Troy Apke, Marcus Allen, Chris Campbell–to the draft, as well as several other starters, but there’s still a lot of talent on that side of the ball, especially on the defensive line.
A somewhat favorable schedule also helps. The Nittany Lions can ease into the season with games against Appalachian State, Pittsburgh, Kent State and Illinois to start things off, plus three of their four toughest games (Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin) are at home.
The over/under on Penn State’s win total was set at 9.5 in May, but the way things are looking, it wouldn’t be surprising if James Franklin and Co. got to double-digit victories for a third year in a row.