Penn State Football: What to Expect from Nittany Lions vs. Ohio

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2012

Aug 6, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien looks on during practice at the Lasch Football Building practice fields. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

To say that this will be a transition year for Penn State football would be the understatement of the century. Everyone knows what happened to the program—and really, the entire university—in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. 

Now, the football team is trying to rebuild itself after the athletic department ushered in a new era post-Joe Paterno. 

Never has a game against Ohio University felt so intriguing, but that is exactly the kind of whirlwind ride Penn State has been on for the last nine months. 

So, what should fans expect to see from the Nittany Lions when they take the field at Beaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon?



After the NCAA dropped the Hammer of Thor on Penn State, there was a feeling that anyone and everyone who was offered a scholarship would just go somewhere else to have a chance to compete for a bowl game and/or a national championship. 

While there were a few departures, most notably Silas Redd to USC, for the most part, the team remained intact. 

The common thread among the players who made a point to stay at Penn State was their love and support for the university and how the actions of a few people wouldn't ruin what the school meant to them. 


New Regime Brings New Scheme

Bill O'Brien took the Penn State job knowing that it would never be the same. He also has the task of following Joe Paterno, who will always be the standard by which all other coaches are measured in Happy Valley. 

Just speaking for his on-field coaching, he brings a much different approach to the game than Paterno. He spent the last five years working with the New England Patriots and helping Tom Brady become the quarterback he is right now. 

While no one is expecting Matt McGloin to be the next Tom Brady, he is getting the keys to the car. He is going to have to improve on completing more than 54.1 percent of his passes this year, as well as taking more control in the huddle. 

O'Brien might have the most difficult job in America, and it all starts on Saturday. This game will not make or break his legacy, but it is important to get off to a good start against a MAC school.