The time has finally come. After several excruciatingly long and painful months, The Penn State Nittany Lions take to the field this Saturday for the first time since Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of 48 accounts of child sexual abuse charges.
The Penn State nation in State College, known as Happy Valley, has had a dark cloud surrounding Beaver Stadium and all of University Park since allegations were first brought to our attention in November of last year. Like a heavy fog that comes in off some nearby water and sits complacent and ignorantly, the stink from a fallout involving Penn State employees and officials has masked and scarred a once storied and prestigious athletic program. The fog has stripped away statues, statistics, records, elite players, coaches, university presidents, athletic officials, scholarships, respect and innocence.
The winds seem to be blowing in State College, albeit very lightly, but its never felt more refreshing. As we approach game day against the Ohio Bobcats, the healing can officially begin. Fans, family, alumni, and friends alike will be able to embrace one another in the familiarity and roaring valleys of central Pennsylvania.
In what is sure to be an emotionally charged contest, the Nittany Lions will take on the Ohio Bobcats in Beaver Stadium Saturday. While sanctions handed down from the NCAA have excluded Penn State from playing in any bowl games for the next four years, fans should still expect to see an exciting contest under new head coach Bill O’Brien.
The offseason saw numerous players transfer from Penn State to other schools without penalty under the NCAA sanctions including running back Silas Redd, who was expected to lead the offense. Redd transferred to USC and will be part of a potent offense in southern California that is ranked #1 going into the first week of college football.
With all of the media uproar Penn State has experienced, I’m sure the fans and the players are more than ready to commence another year of college football, even though there is no eligibility to play in a bowl game.
The Penn State community is ready to move on, make changes, and enjoy a nice, sunny fall afternoon.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio Bobcats
Where: Beaver Stadium – State College, PA
When: Saturday September 1, 2012
Time: 12:00PM EST