On Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa, the #9 Ohio State Buckeyes head to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. In years past, the two teams played for high stakes, such as the Big Ten title, or simply bragging rights between the neighboring states. This year, Penn State wants to prove a point, since their bowl eligibility ceased to exist this offseason. The game on Saturday means much more to a team that needs to rebuild its legacy in the NCAA.
Bill O'Brien's squad reeled off five straight victories since started out 0-2 with tough losses to the Ohio Bobcats and Virginia Cavaliers. During the streak, Penn State defeated a heavily favored Big Ten foe in Northwestern. Quarterback Matt McGloin showed perseverance after a rough start, and found his groove behind center over the past several weeks. On the other side, the red-and-white media darlings from Columbus, Ohio roared out of the gates with eight consecutive victories. Both teams look to hand the other its first Big Ten loss.
The Ohio State Buckeyes sit at #9 on the polls, but the coach's poll did not show the team in the top 25. Quarterback Braxton Miller continues as a duel threat to defenses as the sophomore tossed 11 touchdown passes, and ran for 10 more thus far. He took a hit against Purdue that scared fans into thinking he may miss this week's showdown, but Miller plans to play Saturday.
Penn States needs a statement game like this one after an atrocious offseason that saw several staff members and school officials lose jobs during the Jerry Sandusky controversy. O'Brien's attempt to create a new atmosphere for PSU starts this week against the team's biggest current rivalry. A 110,000 fan whiteout should create a hostile environment for the visiting Buckeyes, and show recruits that the Penn State community still bleeds blue-and-white.
Should Penn State defeat Ohio State, the nation might see a shamed program revived and ready to start fresh. Thus, a jam-packed Beaver Stadium will erupt if the unexpected happens, and Penn State goes to 6-2.

Posted in College Sports, Pittsburgh Penguins

Leave a Reply