Penn State at NORTHWESTERN
After three straight victories at home aganist patsies, the Nittany Lions hit the road for the first time in the 2005 season. The timing could not be better.
The Lions defenseive line beat up on poor Central Michigan, registering 8 sacks and holding them to 39 yards rushing on 4 carries. The final was 40 – 3, but it did not seem that close.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME
The game is televised nationally on ESPN2. If you feel like checking it out with other Penn Staters, the Metro Washington Chapter of Penn State Alumni has three official sites. This week, I will be at Uncle Jed’s in Bethasda. Fritz will be hosting on behalf of the chapter.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
The last two seasons, the Wildcats have had State’s number, which it turns out was 7 — the number of points the Lions were able to score in the last two meetings. There is hope for blue and white fans though. In last week’s loss to Arizona State, the Wildcats gave up over 700 yards of total offense. While I would not expect that kind of performance from Penn State, it does bode well for the young speedy wideouts.
PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP
Here is the transcript from Intercollegiate Athletics.
Carroll H. Cook (Pitt ’54) featured Joe Paterno in his ESPN Insider column this week. Some excerpts:
From early season results, it looks as if Paterno has an excellent chance of winning eight or nine games for two basic reasons: Three cupcake nonconference games and playing in the Big Ten, which is not the toughest conference in the country…
The conference schedule seems to favor Penn State. Road games at Northwestern and Illinois seem to be certain wins.
When the season began, Penn State’s toughest conference road game seemed to be Michigan. But all that changed Saturday when the country saw a gutty Michigan State team blow a big lead but manage to win 44-41 in overtime, in a hostile environment at Notre Dame.
However, Penn State’s most difficult games seem to be at home: against Minnesota, which has been a PSU nemesis, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
The chance for Penn State to be 5-0 when it plays Ohio State at night on Oct. 8 seems likely.
Paterno has changed his philosophy lately as he’s injected some speedy freshman receivers who have added some needed spark to the Lions’ attack.
The notion that Paterno might retire after this season, no matter what the record is, probably won’t happen despite an outcry from younger alumni.
Paterno made a commitment to the current incoming freshmen that he will be there at least four years if his health permits. The older alumni remain much more appreciative of what Paterno has accomplished in making Penn State a national power.
He did for Penn State what Knute Rockne did for Notre Dame.
This begs the question — why do you hate freedom Beano? Eight or nine wins?! We are DOOMED!
He had a little bit to say in his recent chat:
Jason (washington): Beano!! Do the Wildcat DB’s have any chance at slowing down those speedy PSU wideouts? Did I just use speedy and PSU in the same sentence?
Beano Cook: Very good humor, Jason! I think Penn State is a sleeper in the Big Ten. They are vastly improved on offense, but I would have more respect for them if they played tougher non-conference games. But that’s helping right now so I can’t argue.
While I am worried that Beano calls PSU a sleeper, I am kind of happy he does not respect our non-conference schedule.
This is a big test for the Lions, if they don’t win this game, they are in big trouble. If they win it, they are well on their way to post-season. Loss it and they are facing an uphill climb to get to six wins. I think they still could, but seven would be a long shot.
Given the woodshed beating that Northwestern took last week, I expect them to bounce back to a large degree. No team in the country loses as many routs as they and still stays in bowl contention; they just brush off defeats.
In the end, I see Penn State winning 30 – 23.
WWN not enough Penn State football for you? Check out these links:
I hope you enjoy the game, come up to Uncle Jed’s if it strikes your fancy.
Go STATE, beat Wildcats!