Nittany Lions prepare to hit Army with hurricane-like force this weekend at Beaver Stadium

Nittany Lions prepare to hit Army with hurricane-like force this weekend at Beaver Stadium

Although cats historically shy away from water, the fierce Nittany Lions will yet again face what looks to be a rainy weekend in which they hope to secure a win against the Army Black Knights. This weekend will be the 26th time the Nittany Lions square off against the Black Knights. The last time the pair played each other was October 13, 1979; the Nittany Lions won 24-3.

Fresh from trouncing the San Diego State Aztecs 37-21, Penn State is expecting another stellar performance this weekend. This Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, a special salute to all of those who have served or are currently serving our country. In fact, Beaver Stadium is sold out. This is the first time Beaver Stadium has sold out a non-conference game since Penn State played Alabama in 2011.

The Black Knights are currently 1-3 after losing their first three games against Fordham University, UConn, and Wake Forest. Army was able to muster a win against Eastern Michigan last weekend, 58-36. Army may be starting off the weekend at a disadvantage, as sophomore starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (Chicago, Ill.) may be injured with ankle problems. Senior AJ Schurr (Libertyville, Ill.) will likely need to step up to the plate as quarterback against the formidable Nittany Lions.

During the players’ press conference this past week, junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) spoke highly of the fantastic performances recently put forth by the wide receivers.

“Being able to put in a position where they will be successful is the goal for us…I try to do my end of that… them a chance to make a play for us.”

Speaking about Army, Hackenberg noted that he respects Army and their efforts to strive to do their best each day.

“We’re expecting them to come in with a great game plan… I think it’s going to be a great challenge. We’re excited about it.”

Despite sustaining some injuries last week, Head Coach James Franklin is confident that the squad has enough depth to maintain a strong level of play. Franklin commented that although he does not know if running backs Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.) and Akeel Lynch (Toronto, Can.) will take the field, he knows redshirt sophomores Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.) and Nick Scott (Fairfax, Va.) are not to be underestimated.

Franklin continued to praise the defensive line, throwing out some impressive statistics.

“We’re number one in the nation for sacks with 18. We’re second in the nation for tackles with loss at 40, and we’re third in the nation for tackles for loss per game with 10.”

This is Penn State’s last non-conference game of the season. Soon the team will face threatening Big Ten contenders such as Indiana (Oct. 10) and Ohio State (Oct. 17). The squad’s preparation week to week has earned them three wins thus far, and the team is excited about continuing their winning streak. Rain or shine, Penn State fans will make Beaver Stadium roar on Saturday with not only game day excitement, but cheers of gratitude for those who have served, are serving, or will serve. Respect the game, the teams, and the country. With that trio, both teams will come out as winners this weekend.

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