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With two Big Ten games under my belt from Thursday and Friday, I locked in on the four early Big Ten games Saturday. Here are my Snap Reactions, where I list the three things I learned from each game. What did you learn? Come tell me in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien led the charge in the first home opener without Joe Paterno since 1949, his players behind him, storming the Beaver Stadium field as more than 97,000 fans kicked off a new chapter in the program’s tarnished history with a raucous and sustained ovation. But the Nittany Lions wore down in the second half, and Ohio, from the Mid-American Conference, upset Penn State, 24-14.
Ohio’s defense shut down Penn State’s aerial attack in the third quarter, holding the Nittany Lions to 27 passing yards and the Bobcats have taken the lead 17-14. Ohio threw for 124 yards during the quarter. Penn State has given up 14 straight points.
Matt Lehman had a productive quarter for Penn State. He caught a 14-yard touchdown pass, and the Nittany Lions now lead 14-3. Ohio made the score 7-3 after Matt Weller made a 22-yard field goal to finish off an eight-yard drive. The Bobcats began the drive with good field position at Penn State’s 13-yard line after Ohio recovered a fumble.
Penn State sniffed out Ohio’s rushing attack in the first quarter, holding the Bobcats to 16 rush yards and the Nittany Lions lead 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Penn State’s passing attack looked sharp, as the Nittany Lions threw for 130 yards in the quarter.
Ever since Bill O’Brien announced Penn State would include last names on the back of its jerseys this fall, people have wondered what it will look like. On Saturday morning, a couple of hours before Penn State’s season opener vs. Ohio, @PennStateFball tweeted a picture of the jerseys hanging in the Penn State locker room.
Friday night marked the annual Penn State Football Eve at Beaver Stadium, and for several reasons, this pep rally was different than all the ones before it. For the obvious reason, this was the first event without head coach Joe Paterno, who was fired late last year and died months later. On top of that, the Penn State fan base has really rallied around this team and coach Bill O’Brien in the wake of the NCAA sanctions that crippled it this offseason.
This is the first edition of a new weekly post where I will look at one key question for each team in a piece called: 12 Teams, 12 Questions. I’ll roll these out every Tuesday and look forward to hearing what you think about your team and your team’s games.