Minnesota at PENN STATE
Penn State survived their first road trip at Northwestern and now comes home for two consecutive games at Beaver Stadium.
Official Intercollegiate Athletics release PDF
I will be hosting the tailgate again (Erica has another baby shower to attend). We will be in Lot 11 or 12. Look for the Yurasko flag.
The Lions, especially Michael Robinson, played sloppy throughout the first half. Turnovers continued to be a problem, but thanks to the freshman wideouts, Paul Posluzny, and a more careful Mike Robinson, the Lions pulled out a thrilling 34 – 29 win. WWN recap.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
First off, a friendly reminder…
WATCH OUT FOR THE ON-SIDE KICK!
Oh boy, it’s a trophy game! The two squads are playing for the Governor’s Victory Bell.
Our recent history with Minnesota is well-known. Back in ’99, undefeated Penn State failed to put the stupid Golden Skunks away and they caught an improbable 4 and 16 desperation pass off a tip. They then kicked a field goal to win it as time expired, ending the Lions’ national title hopes, ruining Homecoming, and beginning the tailspin that they have yet to emerge from. Brad and I were so distraught that we collaborated on a Whose Fault is it that Penn State Lost? poll. You can read the press release too.
Even before the ’99 debacle, Minnesota was problematic for Penn State. At the ’97 game, also Homecoming, a fiesty Minnesota nearly upset a listless Penn State. The Lions pulled it out in the end due to some luck and bad officiating (really) and won 16 – 15. However, they took out Aaron Harris in the first half with an ACL injury from which he never recovered. Like it or not, coach Glen Mason has our number.
Ever since then, Minnesota has beaten Penn State by outcoaching them. It is very depressing.
The last two years, the Skunks have led off the game with an on-side kick. After last week’s performance by the Lions, I would expect similar trickery.
Also of note, their mascot is satanic.
PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP
Here is the transcript from Intercollegiate Athletics.
This week, Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt), had a lot to say about Penn State:
Ned: (Las Vegas, NV): Okay, does Penn State win this weekend and finally get ‘back on track’?
Beano Cook: Absolutely. If Penn State wins, it is a contender in the Big Ten. The odds were 9-1 against them to start the season and this is the moment of truth for the Nittany Lions. The Big Ten is wide open right now and there are about five teams in there.
Okay, fair enough, I have no quarrel with what he has to say. Moving on…
Dave (NH): Beano, I went to Penn State, and even I realize that the Lions have no shot to beat OSU this year.
Beano Cook: The game is in Happy Valley, Dave. A lot depends on what happens this week against Minnesota. A win means confidence and a night game, and the town would be jumping. Incidentally, for everyone who goes to a PSU game, head to the Nittany Lion Inn and get the lobster bisque. It’s the best.
Again, hard to find fault with what he is saying, though not having had the lobster bisque, I cannot say whether he is right or wrong. If history is a guide, it is probably pretty bad if he likes it.
Joey (Greenville, SC): Thanks for the Maryland pick last week. What is the pick of the week this time?
Beano Cook: A one-game winning streak has me full of confidence. I’ll take Penn State over Minnesota by a score of 31-24. Thanks for taking the time to participate and we’ll see you all again next week at the same time!
Ohas been said that a favorable prediction from Beano is a kiss-of-death. So, there you have it, that is a hickey if I have every seen one. If Penn State loses, you know who to blame. I can only remember one occasion in the last nine seasons when Beano was wrong predicting Penn State to win and that was the 2002 Nebraska game.
ABC is carrying the game regionally, so it should be available throughout Pennsylvania and Minnesota, but in Washington, on WJLA-TV 7, Florida State and Syracuse gets the nod proving once again that 7 is not on our side. I realize that this is ACC country, but I bet there are more PSU alums in BeltwayLand than FSU and Syracuse combined. Also, this game has much more at stake nationally, both PSU and Minn. are undefeated. Thankfully, I will be at the game and not dependent on the whims of a program director.
If you don’t feel like ordering it through ESPN Game Plan, you can catch it at Metro Washington Chapter of Penn State Alumni Association viewing sites. Last week, we went to Uncle Jed’s and had a great time.
Just about everything I have read about Minnesota, particularly their punishing ground attack and huge offensive line point to this being a loss. However, I feel that I have to stand up to Beano and predict a 33-28 victory for the Nittany Lions, because, well they’re due against these guys. The keys to the game are 1.) better turnover ratio 2.) non-offensive touchdown. I just ask that you not bet the mortgage based on this prediction…
FIELD GOAL CHALLENGE RETURNS
Another week means another Field Goal challenge. The last one was won by Sam, who is in second place for the season. Wiley is in first, I am in third and Fritz is in fourth.
WATCH OUT FOR THE ON-SIDE KICK
Go State, beat Gophers!