At noontime today, the Beaver Stadium faithful will get its first live look at the 2013 Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State is coming off a 23-17 road victory over the Syracuse Orange and will look to start the season with a two-game winning streak. The Eastern Michigan Eagles come into the game fresh off a victory over FCS opponent Howard.
Below are some thoughts leading up to kickoff in the first home game of the season.
True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg won Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors last week with his performance against the Orange. The young signal-caller looked impressive at times in his debut, throwing for 278 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Hackenberg could be in line for a big game today against the Eagles as the Penn State offense continues to grow and click.
- Allen Robinson, the Big Ten’s top receiver last year, was on the bench for the entire first half last week. When he finally joined the action in the third quarter, all he did was catch seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. Robinson will be making his first start of the year today and will look to pick up where he left off last week. Look for him to be an early target for Hackenberg and put up big numbers today.
- The Penn State defense, even with several key starters from last year gone, started the year strong. Seniors DaQuan Jones, Stephen Obeng-Agyapong and Glenn Carson all played a big part in leading the defense and holding the Orange to just 260 total yards of offense. Today should once again be a solid performance by the unit. Look for several sacks and turnovers as the Eagles could struggle to get anything going on offense.
- Off course, anything can happen in college football, but the smart money is that this game won’t be very close. If the Nittany Lions are able to pull away, it will present a great opportunity to let some of the other young players gain valuable experience. Look for guys like Adam Breneman, and perhaps Tyler Ferguson to see some action.