Penn State Football: Ranking the top 20 wins in program history

Grant Haley #15 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Grant Haley #15 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Penn State Football
Penn State football star Saquon Barkley vs. Minnesota in 2016.  (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Penn State football program is one of the elites in the country, producing numerous national titles, conference titles, and some of the greatest players in the history of college football.

However, you do not become a program with the kind of status as Penn State football has without some key victories along the way.

With that said, here are the Nittany Lions’ top-20 wins in program history.

20. 2016 Penn State football 20, Minnesota 26 (OT)

In the third season with James Franklin at the helm as head coach, the Penn State Nittany Lions got off to a 2-2 start leading into a home game against Minnesota. Coming off a 49-10 loss to No. 4 Michigan, Penn State went into the game unranked, and in need of something to kick start their season.

Playing for the Governor’s Victory Bell, the Golden Gophers got out to a 13-3 halftime lead and looked to be in control against a Penn State team that had struggled to play consistent football up until this point in the schedule. In front of 95,000-plus, the Nittany Lions roared back, scoring 17 unanswered in the third quarter, setting up a terrific finish inside Beaver Stadium.

Minnesota had held Saquon Barkley at bay for the entire game, as he finished the game with a yards-per-carry mark of only 3.2. However, it was his 25-yard touchdown run in overtime that proved to be the difference, as the crowd went absolutely crazy, and Penn State would go on a roll from there.

Trace McSorley threw for over 330 yards in the game, and Marcus Allen was a beast on defense, racking up 22 tackles. The Nittany Lions would beat Maryland the following week, setting up a matchup against No. 2 Ohio State, a game we will certainly dive into later.