Nebraska vs. Penn State: Why This Is Must-Win for the Lions for Multiple Reasons

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Penn State students attend a candlelight vigil for abused victims in the Penn State scandal on Old Main Lawn, November 11, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is charged with raping a boy in the shower of the football building.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

When Penn State takes the field this afternoon against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, it will be the first time the community will to get focus on something else besides scandal in over a week.

The week has been filled with riots, outrage and firings that have rocked Penn State University. There are many reasons that this game will be a must-win for the Nittany Lions today.

It’s Senior Day in Happy Valley and the kids on this team have had to endure a lot over the last week. The players on the field have all been innocent bystanders in recent events and a win would reward them for their perseverance. It would show the country that this is truly a team in every sense of the word.

A win would bring something positive to the Penn State campus. Now, more than ever, this campus needs something positive to focus on. A win would not change anything that has happened and would only be a temporary relief, but a much needed one.

A win would promote a feeling of family. It would show the community how to lean on one another for support in this tough time. Former players returning to the sideline to support the current players, would show just how strong family can be and how it can help.

A win could help promote healing. This tragedy is not over and will still be the center of attention on Penn State for weeks, maybe months to come. A victory would help release a wave of emotion that engulfed the school and the local community.

Finally, a win would give a reason to be hopeful for the future. The future of the team and the University is cluttered with question marks. Winning would not answer any of those questions, but it would keep Penn State in contention for a quality bowl game. This much needed diversion would give the students, fans and media something else to discuss for at least one day out of the week.

This is just a football game. It will not solve any problems, or decide what the future will hold for Penn State. However, for three hours on Saturday, it could make all the difference in the world.

James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter here. Feel free to contact James at