Week 1: New Era at Penn State Starts Off With a Loss to Ohio

Ohio University vs. Penn State.  OU, better known for its Halloween parties than its football team, beats PSU at Beaver Statidum 24-10 in week 1.  Penn State was favored to win by  6.5 points and despite all of the setbacks this team has faced, the fans were there to show their support and prove that “We still are Penn State.” This was the 6th meeting between these two teams, but the first without Joe Paterno as head coach and the first loss for the Nittany Lions.   The aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky Scandal leaves new head coach Bill O’Brian with a lot of pieces to pick up.  Not only are they dealing with the stress and pain of understanding what took place as a result of the power of Penn State football, but also the on-field implications of the harshest penalties delivered by the NCAA in college football next to the death penalty given to SMU in 1987.   The penalties, including a 4-year postseason ban and a reduction of scholarships (PSU will be playing with 65 instead of 85 scholarship players for a 4-year period and can also only bring in 15 new scholarship players per years instead of 25) were further compounded by the fact that players could transfer to another school and play immediately.  Nine (9) took advantage of that option.  It’s up for debate how important each of them was to the team, but the offense certainly took a hit with the loss of  top receive Justin Brown and top rusher Silas Redd due to the transfer permission and consequently just 2 starters (QB Matt McGloin and Center Matt Stankiewitch) returned on offense. Only 4 starters returned on defense and even the kicker transferred.  When the smoke clears, these Penn State players, students and fans are victims of the scandal as well, but O’Brian is going to need to dig deep to keep this program thriving.  Next week his challenge is at Virginia, which started out with a 43-19 win over FCS school Richmond.

PSU's 1st EVER loss to OU