Penn State Football 2012: Why the Season Is Still Successful After Loss to OSU

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIOctober 30, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions leads his team onto the field before playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

After a 35-23 home loss to Ohio State that saw the Nittany Lions get outplayed in all facets of the game, it would be easy to restart the talk of how terrible things are at Penn State.

However, don't forget that heading into the matchup with the Buckeyes, the Lions were actually on a five-game winning streak and were being talked about as one of the best teams in the Big Ten.  

One loss to a Top 10 team doesn't take away what head coach Bill O'Brien has done with this team in 2012.

No team in college football faced as much negativity and adversity as the Nittany Lions heading into the season. The damaging NCAA sanctions and transfers of key players have been well documented.

The Nittany Lions were forced to start the season with freshmen and inexperienced players at key positions. Running back Zach Zwinak, tight end Kyle Carter and wide receiver Allen Robinson have all stepped in to play big roles at important positions for the Lions.

Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, O'Brien and his Lions have fought hard to earn a 5-3 record.

Sure, the loss to Ohio State in Week 9 was disappointing, but it doesn't diminish all of the good that this team has done.

Making it through eight games with a winning record is an accomplishment in itself considering that some were questioning if they would even win a single game all season. After starting the year 0-2, the Lions went on a roll, winning five games, including three in the Big Ten.

Bill O'Brien has brought a new attitude and an NFL-style offense to Happy Valley.

The offense, led by quarterback Matt McGloin, has proven to be a high-powered passing attack that can put up points in a hurry. McGloin's success in the passing game has helped Penn State hang on to top 2013 quarterback recruit Christian Hackenberg.

Continued success by Penn State will help land future top recruits.

With four games remaining against Purdue, Nebraska, Indiana and Wisconsin, the Nittany Lions still have an opportunity to finish 2012 with a decent record. Considering the odds facing them heading into the season, anything above .500 is commendable.

There is still a lot to be done in order for the Penn State Football Program to be rebuilt. However the 2012 team is building a blueprint for success and proving that with pride and heart much can be achieved.