We’re now just three days away from the start of the 2010 Penn State football season. I know, I’ve been looking forward to it just as much as you have.
It’s been said the Nittany Lions are in a bit of a rebuilding year with a new quarterback, starting with an almost bare amount of experience, and the loss of some great defensive figures in Sean Lee, Navorro Bowman and Jared Odrick. The hardest part, however, must be replacing Daryll Clark under center. Chances are that the early parts of the season will see several quarterbacks getting snaps under center.
The experts are predicting the Lions to finish with no more than eight or nine wins on the year and for the first time in a long while, that’s potentially realistic. Penn State has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, traveling away to AP No. 1 (and defending national champion) Alabama, away to Kinnick Stadium to take on the AP No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes, then away in Columbus to take on AP No. 2 Ohio State.
Not to mention Northwestern and Michigan State are on the rise, providing the Nittany Lions with some tough home competition as well. Oh, and Michigan is still Michigan.
Predictions aside, there are at least three things fans should be looking forward to especially for this 2010 year, given the fact that we may never see it again with this proud tradition of Penn State football.
One: Evan Royster will break the all-time Penn State rushing record. He needs just 481 yards to pass ‘80s fan-favorite Curt Warner for that title, having surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in each of his last two years. That’s exciting. And it took almost three decades before we saw it again.
Two: An opportunity to see one of the nation’s finest wide receiving corps, and possibly one of the top receivers in Penn State history, joining the likes of Williams, Butler, and Johnson a couple years ago and Scott, Engram, and Archie back in the 1990’s.
Whoever the starting quarterback turns out to be will have the opportunity to throw to three superb receivers in Graham Zug, Derek Moye and Brett Brackett, all of whom will greatly help to relieve the pressure off Evan Royster to begin the season while the quarterback situation is still a little shaky. Okay, so it’s a bit of a stretch to say we’ll never see receivers this good again, but that still doesn’t make it any less exciting to watch.
Three: Obviously, the story of the off-season. Will Paterno be back for another year? Will he finally call it quits at the end of the 2010 season? Or, to be quite brusque about it, will he just collapse running onto the field before the game even begins?
You hate to think of an injury, either, but if anything like the broken leg incident at Wisconsin a couple years ago happens again, JoePa himself will be calling it all to a screeching halt. And when it comes to Paterno, that’s the best there ever will be at Penn State. It's the best there will ever be in college football.
And it all starts in three days.