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If you visit this site often, you have noticed my absense. But today is a new day and Saturday, September 1st is the dawn of a new erra. Penn State will get back to showing our country our passion, our spirit and this year our resolve. We Are Penn State, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The past six months has been tough for me, as an alumni, a huge fan of Penn State football and an admirer of Joe Paterno. But the past is the past, and now we are ready to get back to all the things that made this school great. It is more than football, it is the passion we have for our school and the memories we all created during our time in Happy Valley.
I am ready for some football, Penn State football. I am ready for sunny Saturday's in Happy Valley, the chants of 'We Are... Penn State' in Beaver Stadium and the national television coverage of ESPN, ABC and the Big Ten Network for all the reasons that made Penn State great (success, passion and fan loyalty).
As for the 'experts', I think they have Penn State all wrong this year. Sure, I am biased but I (like most passionate Penn State fans) know our roster, we will NOT finish the trendy 6-6 or 7-5 record that so many college football TV pundits predict.
This is an 8-4 or 9-3 football team, with a favorable schedule. But getting off to a solid start against Ohio in Happy Valley, at UVA and then back home with Navy is key.
One thing that I think people are forgetting or overlooking is the strength of our defense. This is a very strong front seven. And they will be well prepared, playing fast & solid Penn State style defense, to stop an option style offense in both Ohio and Navy (playing against that style of offense two of the first three weeks is a huge bonus).
UVA is a wild card, we have struggled their in the past, but we have more athletes than the Cavaliers and hopefully our new coaching staff will have this team better prepared than our previous staff for noon, away, kickoffs.
And while Temple is a strong team, I think we still have their number.
The conference schedule is no cake walk, but with home games against Northwestern, Ohio State, Indiana and Wisconsin and away games at Illinois, Iowa, Purdue and Nebraska, there are many winnable games on the schedule (plus a bye week right in the middle of the season).
I think we all have to admit, we have a NEW head coach and like all of us the first time we took on a new job, he will make 'rookie' mistakes. But we also have the opportunity to improve and be less predictable and more creative on both offense and defense.
This staff will take some time to get their feet under them, but I think they will bring a new energy and excitement to Happy Valley. One which will include new opportunity for success and many great memories.
Yes, the sanctions are stiff and we need to face the reality of tough times ahead, but not as soon as this year. We are still a solid team, with good players and more than ever, extremely strong passion on our side.
We Are STILL Penn State.
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