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There's no need to rehash the disaster that is Penn State football. But, their fall from grace isn't the only reason to look for an upset in this game. This Ohio team is for real.
Led by quarterback Tyler Tettleton, the Bobcats have their eyes set on an undefeated season. A win over a depleted Penn State squad would go a long way towards making that an attainable goal.
Tettleton—a Norman, Oklahoma native and son of Major League Baseball player Mickey Tettleton—will be leading the offense for a second year and is coming off a season in which he threw for 3,086 yards and 26 touchdowns. With a similar performance in 2012, he would become Ohio's career leader in passing yards in just two seasons.
The Ohio defense is full of experience with seven seniors in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien will just be trying to hold things together on both sides of the ball.
The Nittany Lion offense was bad enough before losing most of their talent either to graduation or to transfers, ranking 110th in the nation in scoring a year ago. Losing their best rusher and best receiver won't help with the healing process.
Maybe Penn State comes out motivated and united in front of the home crowd or maybe they fold under the pressure. One thing is for sure: football hasn't been their only focus over the past year. The entire program has become one big distraction.
The reality of what fans in Happy Valley can come to expect for the future will become very clear on Saturday when Ohio not only covers as six point underdogs, but leaves Beaver Stadium with a win.