Penn State football: 5 things to watch in 2016

The Penn State Nittany Lions are looking to make a big time move towards competing for the Big Ten championship in 2016. They have to eliminate costly mistakes from last season and they can certainly make strides this year.

Offensively, they must replace three-year starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg, but Trace McSorley already has some experience and should fit into the leadership role quite well. He will have an All-American running back behind him in Saquon Barkley, who has a chance to compete for the Heisman Trophy.

The defense has to rebuild their defensive line after losing Carl Nassib and only returning Garrett Sickels as a starter. Linebacker Jason Cabinda leads a strong linebacker group, while John Reid is looking to make another impact in the secondary that must improve after intercepting just six passes in 2016.

The Nittany Lions are a far-cry from what they were earlier this century, but they look to change that narrative. Here are five things to watch for Penn State in the 2016 college football season.