2006 WWN PENN STATE PREGAME #1

#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

  • It will be raining (Ernesto!), dress accordingly.
  • Traveling to Happy Valley? Watch for these road projectsCDT
  • Also, consider alternate routes to Happy Valley as US 22/322 has been known to flood in the Lewistown Narrows.
    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

    LAST WEEK

    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.

    Intercollegiate Athletics Game Notes (PDF)

    NEW RANKING

    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.

    IMPORTANT ARTICLES

    CDT

  • Linebackers want to be even better
  • Paterno says Nittany Lions will have to be patient
  • Blue and White 101: How to be a good Penn State fan

    Post-Gazette

  • Big things expected from linebacker Connor a year after Paterno’s wrath
  • Football: Akron’s 3-5-3 alignment has Lions’ offense on alert

    Tribune-Review

  • Conditions more favorable for Akron this time around

    Akron Beacon-Journal

  • Getsy impressed Paterno long ago
  • UA coach says Zips can beat Penn State

    BEANO WATCH

    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.

    TELEVISION

    The contest is being televised nationally on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. You really should be at the game though.

    PREDICTIONS

    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.

    IN CLOSING

    Go STATE, beat Zips!

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  • Fleas now lead Nats in season series

    Pitching and Defense Let Down Nats AgainThe Post
    The other night I was telling someone how I expected lots of games to be like this year’s Opening Day — the Nats lose by several runs and only score on Alfonso Soriano homer. Sure enough, that happened last night; final score 5-1.

    More from The Wash. Times: Robinson fumes as Nats fall

    BoxscoreESPN


    For the Books, Nationals Face History QuestionsThe Post
    So whose history is it anyway? The issue of what the Nationals will consider its “history” has yet to be decided. They could retain the Expos records, use Senators records, or just start from scratch. Examples of each method are illustrated.

    If it were up to me, I would use the Senators records with a supplement in the media guide about the Expos.


    Robinson’s Birthday Comes With UncertaintyThe Post
    Remember last year when Frank Robinson‘s 70th birthday was greeted with enthusisasm? This year, it is suspected that his 71st bithday will be his last in a major league uniform because he wants a multi-year contract that he is not going to get. I would be shocked if he even gets offered a one-year deal, it seems to certain he is done. I respect the man, but he just is not a good manager. I was hoping that Bowden would be fired before Robinson was let go.

    Hopefully Robinson and the team can come to a mutally acceptable way of honoring the skipper.

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    Phillies tie-up season cheesesteak/half smoke series

    For Armas and Nats, Latest Loss Is the Status WoeThe Post
    Tony Armas, Jr. started last night by giving up 2 runs and throwing around 40 pitches in the opening frame. By the 4th he was gassed and wound up being pulled after 3 1/3 innings having given up 5 runs. The bullpen faired no better. Final score Fleas 10 Nats 6.

    Two highlights for Nats fans — Alfonso Soriano’s 42 homer and Ryan Zimmerman’s 2-run triple.

    In the seventh, I said “if Saul Rivera can’t get Abraham Núñez (batting a Guzman esque .198) out, I’m leaving” and sure enough Nunez was safe on a Jose Vidro error. Fritz and I walked out right there.

    1B Ryan Howard hit another homer, which is apparently a big deal (The Inky) for all those people cheering the visitors. By the way, there were a lot of Phightins fans there last night. They were incrediblely well behaved though, maybe it was because Santa Claus was not around to boo. The win put Philly 1/2 game back in the wild card and more importantly tied up the season series. The Nats now have five chances to win three games to clinch my cheesesteak.

    The game was not a total loss — I learned the correct pronounciation of dl004d; I had previously thought it was “dee el double-o four dee,” but it turns out it is “dee el zero zero four dee.”

    One other thing that I would like to learn is the name of the song that played when there was a conference at the mound in the 6th when Chase Utley was up. It’s jazzy piece that easily becomes an earworm, but I have no idea what it is called. Anybody know the song?

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats’ Armas fails to deliver

    BoxscoreESPN


    Nationals Set To Kick Off At RFK in ’07The Post
    Sweet! The Nats get to start the 2007 season at home, restoring for at least one year the tradition of a Washington opener. They better get the president this time.

    Also, the team took infield practice yesterday. It did not seem to help Vidro.


    Johnson enjoys career seasonThe Wash. Times
    1B Nick Johnson is having a career season just by staying in the lineup and off the DL.

    Jim Bowden: Breakdown of National (League) importanceThe Wash. Examiner
    Obligatory link to the Bowden column that I refuse to read.
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    Travel day recap

    Since Blowup, Schneider Has Rallied at — and Behind — the PlateThe Post
    Ever since C Brian Schneider blew his top at a reporter he has been hitting well and catching better. He has raised he season average about 25 points.


    Struggling Church short on chancesThe Wash. Times
    With Alex Escobar done for the year (nationals.com), Ryan Church may have his best, last chance to prove himself to the Nationals organization.

    Phil Wood: Patience is Nats’ needed virtueThe Wash. Examiner
    Wood says Nats fans just need to “maintain” for the next couple of seasons.

    Jim Williams: Who needs to take a hike, Comcast or MASN?The Wash. Examiner
    Williams surpringly takes a middle of the road position on the increase in Comcast’s monthly rate due to MASN.

    Fritz scored us some sweet tickets to tonight’s game — section 211. Stop by and say hello.
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