2006 WWN PENN STATE PREGAME #5

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Northwestern Wildcats

For the second time in two seasons, the Northwestern game appears to be a turning point for the Nittany Lions. Last year, the Lions, especially QB Mike Robinson, played a sloppy game, yet somehow overcame the Wildcats. After that, they rolled through the Big11Ten schedule (for the most part) and to the #3 ranking.

Penn State Gameday CentralIntercollegiate Athletics

LAST WEEK

Penn State kept it close, but was not agressive enough around the goal line and fell at #1 Ohio State. Recap

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

Northwestern lost their head coach, Randy Walker, over the summer to a heart attack. Their new coach, Pat Fitzgerald, was a star there in the mid-90s and was being groomed to take over for Walker in a few years. Fitzgerald was coached by current Lions linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden, then assistant head coach, at Northwestern.

So far, the Wildcats are 2-2 with loses to Nevada and New Hampshire, the #1 team in I-AA. They beat Miami, Walker’s alma mater, in an emotional season opener.

NEW NO RANKING

The loss at OSU pushed Penn State into the “others recieving votes” category. It could be weeks before they return to the top 25.

PRESS CONFERENCE

Transcript | Audio (Fight On State)

IMPORTANT ARTICLES

  • Two coaches, 48 years difference Penn State vs. NorthwesternPost-Gazette
  • Questions swirl around WildcatsCDT
  • Beaver stadium to see changesThe Collegian
  • DAVID JONES Big Ten scores high on computersPatriot-News
  • Penn State fans don’t want thesePatriot-News
  • PSU doesn’t know which QB it will seePatriot-News
  • JEFF RICETime for PSU critics to reassessCDT

    BEANO WATCH

    Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) had nothing to say about Penn State. Nothing. A shut out. Goose egg. Nil.

    TELEVISION

    The contest is being televised by ABC at 3:30 p.m. some of the nation, but not WJLA-TV 7 in Washington. Coverage Map

    WEATHER

    State College-based Accuweather says the high will be 60°F, but it will feel like 56°F, with clouds and sun. Some light rain may show up later in the day. Other than the rain, it looks like perfect football weather.

    TAILGATING

    I’m hosting a tailgate in either lot 12 or 13. Look for the Yurasko flag.

    MORE COVERAGE

  • Penn State Football Official Site – from the “Kremlin”
  • CDT coverage
  • Patriot-News coverage
  • Post-Gazette coverage
  • Tribune-Review coverage
  • 50 Yard Lion Blog – an Altoona dentist; daily (Patriot-News)
  • PA Sports Blog – mostly recruiting, if that is your thing
  • NittPickers – fans who work for the Patriot-News
  • No Cheering Aloud – sportswriters at the Patriot-News
  • Nittany Lines Blog — sports ed. from The Morning Call
  • Jeff Rice’s blog — PSU football beat writer at the CDT
  • Ask Jeff Q & A (CDT)
  • Monday Morning QB – Steve Smith (CDT)
  • FightOnState.com — free
  • Blue White Illustrated — Phil Grosz, subscription required

    PREDICTIONS

    This is a big game for the Nittany Lions and I think they will respond. Last year’s Northwestern game was the turning point and this year will be, too. A loss this weekend pretty much ends the season, while a victory keeps it going.

    There is no way that the Wildcats can keep up with the Nittany Lions. I expect Penn State to establish the run and take more shots downfield. Getting Anthony Morelli comfortable is the #1 priority in my mind. Wideouts Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and A.J. Wallace all need more touches on Saturday.

    Defensively, Penn State will be fine, the unit is really starting to come together, especially CB Justin King.

    I expect Penn State to win 30-17, not an overwhelming victory, but a victory nonetheless.

    IN CLOSING

    Go STATE, beat Wildcats!

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  • i-99 clean-up plan approved

    I-99 plan approvedCDT
    The environmental mitigation for the i-99 stretch near Skytop has been approved and will get underway immediately. Completion is expected in the middle of 2008, so next football season will be the last time drivers will have to use US-220 to get to State College.

    Unless this gets screwed up again or goes into litigation.

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    Thanks Nats!

    Last night’s win clinched the season series with the Phillies for Washington, 10-9. In doing so, the Nationals won my “mayor’s bet” with the Ombudsman. In addition to the universial currency of bragging rights (and a concession speech!), I also get to enjoy a trip to Jim’s Steaks for a celebratory cheesesteak (with whiz and raw onions).

    It is nice to actually win one of these things for a change. Good luck this weekend Ombudsman, we need your Phightin’s to save us from two California teams in the NL playoffs.

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    4:27 rain delay

    Another Bizarre Day for Nats Ends With WinThe Post
    After waiting until 11:32 p.m. to get the game started, the Nationals, led by a resurgent Mike O’Connor, took out the Phillies 3-1 on Ryan Zimmerman‘s 22nd birthday. The loss puts the Fleas two back in the wild card race. An Inky columnist is very grouchy about the whole thing.

    Both teams were adamant about getting the game in last night since it would have had to be made up Monday otherwise.

    Fans were apparently entertained (nationals.com) during the delay. No word if Tom Paciorek did his Ray Romano/Cookie Monster impression over the p.a. though.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nationals, Phillies work late

    BoxscoreESPN


    Robinson Is Elusive After MeetingThe Post
    Frank Robinson is putting on a brave front, but you know that not being asked back next year is killing him. The front office handled this poorly.

    T(h)om Loverro of The Wash. Times also wants to see Robinson ‘s #20 retired (makes sense to me) and a position with the franchise.

    More from The Wash. Times: Nats should find place for legend


    Rick Snider: Even better than expectedThe Wash. Examiner
    Look! The Wash. Examiner is actually running a column online for a change. This one sings the praises of Zimmerman who is a strong candidate for rookie of the year.

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