#10 PENN STATE vs. Purdue
Happy Homecoming! Get ready for fall foilage, hot apple cider, the Alumni Blue Band, and sorority girls in new windbreakers. Oh yeah, there is a football game too.
The Lions return from a two game, 1-1 roadtrip to face the Boilermarkers, who are a surprising 2-5, though 4-3 Indiana are probably a bigger surprise in the Hooiser state. Due to Big11Ten scheduling quirks, Purdue is playing in Happy Valley for the second consecutive year. Last year’s contest, a 20 – 13 loss for the Lions, was also played on Homecoming.
The Big11Ten is pretty top heavy with a handful of teams with one loss in conference play. Penn State pretty much controls it’s own destiny though — win out and win the conference (outright if Michigan stumbles) for the second time. But let us not get ahead of ourselves, because Purdue is going to be hungry for a win and beating Penn State would salvage their season for at least a week.
We will be hosting the tailgate again after three long weeks. We will be in Lot 11 or 12. Look for the Yurasko flag. We will have the usual goodies as well as some hot apple cider and coccoa to help us with the seasonable weather.
After a skaky start on defense, the Lions offense took over and proved unstoppable, lead by Mike Robinson’s 4 TD passes and 2 TD runs. The defense buckled down and the Lions coasted to a 63 – 10 win. It got hard to watch.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
Going into the season many picked Purdue to win the Big11Ten because they had 11 starters coming back on defense and avoided Ohio State and Michigan. Thus far, they are 2 – 5, including a the current five games skid (Patriot-News), so that is not going to happen. They have not been blown out though and have lost twice in overtime. Is Joe Paterno concerned? You betcha and I am too. A team as well-coached as Purdue does not take to going 2 – 4 well, particularly when they are as senior laden as this one. This is probably “their Rose Bowl,” so expect them to play very hard.
PRESS CONFERENCE RECAP
Here is the transcript from the Post-Gazette. Audio is available at FightOnState.com. Paterno’s main point — we are only looking at Purdue and not ahead of them. Also, he acknowledges the similarities between the ’05 Boilermakers and the ’04 Nittany Lions but says that Purdue is the better of the two.
THINKING TOO FAR AHEAD
In Tuesday’s Patriot-News, Dave Jones was talking BCS possibilities and Bob Flounders was stumping for Michael Robinson to get invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation. Fellas, there are still three games (over four weeks) left to play for the Lions, and then the conference championship games in December. Nothing is going to be decided for almost two months. I hope the team is not looking that far ahead.
For years, Carroll H. Cook’s (’54 Pitt) comments on Penn State football have a vital part of my pregame coverage. More than one person has said Beano Watch was their favorite part, so imagine my dissapointment when he blew off Penn State in this week’s chat. He only mentioned Penn State a few times and never answered a specific Penn State question, including my excellent one about Casablanca being written by a Penn Stater.
Will (PA): Beano,Do you see Charlie Weis ever returning to the NFL to coach? Will ND run the table and get a BCS bearth?
Beano Cook: I think Notre Dame will run the table but would have to fight to get a BCS berth, battling UCLA, Georgia and Alabama, as it stands right now. If Penn State wins the Big Ten, I feel ND vs. Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl…we will see. I think Weis will be at ND for at least five years but I don’t think he will be there 10 years. He will win a national championship very shortly. We are not hearing anything about the tough academics at Notre Dame any more, as we?
Dave Jones also suggested that as a possible scenario for the Lions. That would be something, playing Notre Dame twice in three games as the second game of the 2006 season is PSU at ND.
John (Boulder): Beano – Is there any chance Northwestern could win the Big 10?
Beano Cook: If the Wildcats didn’t lose a big lead vs. Penn State, they would be in the driver’s seat. Penn State completed a 4th and 15 pass and then scored with 52 seconds left in that game. Northwestern had a chance.
As much as we wonder “oh what might have been” over the last play two weeks ago, Northwestern is in the same boat as us with the 4th and 15 conversion.
That is all Beano had to say about the biggest program in the east, no prediction either. I wonder why he is ignoring the Lions and if that is good or bad.
As of Thursday morning, the forecast for Saturday has been upgraded to DRY. State College based Accuweather says the high will be 49F and the low will be 36F, so Nittany Kittens are going to need their mittens and blankets. It snowed earlier in the week in Central Pennsylvania and there may be a mix of it on Friday too.
Alas, the ABC Regional telecast does not include Washington. WJLA is putting Maryland vs. Free Shoes University on instead. Here is the coverage map anyway, for those of you living in the Northeast and Midwest. You can always go to aMetro Washington Chapter of Penn State Alumni Association viewing site (other than Rhino Bar of course) to watch the game. Uncle Jed’s in Bethasda seems to be the least crowded and has excellent wings.
Penn State gets more of a game than it would like, but in the end they Nittany Lions are too good for the Boilermakers. I think the final score will be 31 – 20.
Go STATE, beat BOILERMARKERS!