#19 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Akron Zips
Last year our good friend Wiley sent me an e-mail titled “the most wonderful time of the year” in reference to the coming season. He is on to something. I look forward to the first Penn State game of the year more than Christmas. This will by my 12th season of Penn State football, the 120th overall.
TRAFFIC & WEATHER
From Harrisburg area use US 11/15 NORTH:
Option 1) US 15 to PA 45 WEST to Boalsburg
Option 2) US 11 to PA 147 NORTH to I-80 WEST to PA 26 SOUTH
They had practice. Last game vs. Florida State — I think they are still in overtime.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: AKRON ZIPS
Penn State’s I-76 series (which also includes Youngstown State and Temple) begins with a visit from the Akron Zips. It turns out a Zip is a Kangaroo.
The two programs have met twice previously with similar results. In 1999, the #2 Nittany Lions crushed Akron 70-24. Most recently, the 2004 Lions beat Akron, led by QB Charlie Frye, 48-10. This year’s Akron model, coming off a MAC championship, is the best PSU has faced yet. QB Luke Getsy leads a powerful offense that will be a good early test for PSU’s young secondary. No word on how he throws a wet football, but Anthony Morelli proved in the Blue White Game he was up to the task.
One last thing — I am hoping that we get a Goodyear blimp appearance on Saturday, since Akron is Goodyear’s home. We can never have enough blimp games.
19th — Quite a drop from #3 at the end of last year, but that is okay. Penn State has two really good opportunities to climb in the rankings this month.
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
Here is the official Intercollegiate Athletics transcript of Tuesday’s press conference.
Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) had a lot to say about the Nittany Lions in his first regular season chat of the 2006 season.
SportsNation Beano Cook: Good afternoon. We start the 138th season of college football with a chat, same time every week until the title is decided. We want to mention that Joe Paterno will be in his 41st season as head coach and his 56th at Penn State. Unbelievable. This weekend, Paterno’s first team will hold a reunion and unfortunately, the University is doing it against Akron rather than a good opponent. The ’86 national title team will hold one in two weeks, too, and they have to have it during the Youngstown State game.
Beano’s taking a little shot at PSU, pay it no mind.
Shane (Lewiston, ID): How is Michigan going to fair this year? Is this the year that leads to Carr getting on the hot seat or is he already there?
SportsNation Beano Cook: If Michigan loses to Ohio State this year it’ll be the fifth time in six years and three straight and that won’t help matters. Michigan is not the cutthroat athletic department we see oftern nowadays. They are a little more patient, but times change and a bad year could well lead to a change. The road schedule is tough, but Michigan State and Iowa do come to the Big House. Michigan also gets Notre Dame at a good time, the week after the Irish play Penn State. Michigan has dominated Penn State in recent years, but the night game at PSU this year will be a loss and Carr’s domination of Paterno will end that night.
Beano predicting a Penn State win over Michigan — ouch. As much as agreeing his prognostication contradicts established patterns, my gut tells he is right. I hope so.
dallas texas: How do you see Ohio State splitting the two night games in Sept ? UT and Iowa both on the road. Do not sleep on the Hawkeyes at home !!!
SportsNation Beano Cook: There’s a chance they could lose them both, but if they win both then you have to say OSU has an excellent chance to play for the national title. I think they will lose one, though, which is why I didn’t pick them to play for the title.
SportsNation Beano Cook: Sept. 9 with Penn State-Notre Dame in the afternoon and Ohio State-Texas at night is like seeing a double-feature with the Godfather I and II back-to-back.
Hmmm, Penn State and the Godfather. Let’s take a look at the similarities — two old Italian guys from Brooklyn running the show. Beano might be on to something. Kiss the ring.
Eric Carr Pensacola, Florida: Do you think Notre Dame will make it out of their killer September schedule without a loss?
SportsNation Beano Cook: I think Notre Dame will be playing fo rthe national title, and they could do that at 11-1 as long as they don’t lose the season finale to USC. They have more material than Michigan State and Georgia Tech and get Penn State and Michigan at home, but it will still be tough. I think Notre Dame will win all four, though.
I always feel more comfortable when he picks aganist us and my guts says we win in South Bend, sending subway alumni all over America home crying.
The contest is being televised nationally on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. You really should be at the game though.
Even though there are some temptations to look ahead, Penn State is all business, and wins 37-20. Oh and just for a gag, I predict Derrick Williams will line up at QB with Morelli at wideout on the first play.
Look for my season prediction tonight or tomorrow morning.
Go STATE, beat Zips!