Pregame Predictor: The Big Payback
Oh and by the way, there’s a StripeOut in store for those pesky Owls, as if simple revenge and payback was not enough. Not to mention, when asked on Wednesday about his five touchdowns versus Pitt (which gives him seven on the year and has him ranked second in the nation) all Saquon Barkley could manage to say was how mad he was at himself for the lone fumble early in the game. An angry Barkley you say? Umm, yeah I’d say the Owls are in trouble. Big payback kind of trouble. During that same interview after practice he was asked what his feelings were during his very first carry as a Nittany Lion, which came just over a year ago against Temple where he barely gained a yard. His answer you ask? The man (and when I say “the man” I mean The Man) said he was scared and nervous. Seems we’ve come a long way since that 2015 season opener, haven’t we? And yeah, did I already say there’s a StripeOut brewing? Ugh, Matt Rhule and those pesky Owls are in for some serious damage!
As if a little angst over a three-point loss, revenge and the big payback over the upstart little brother from a season ago, and an angry Saquon (I shudder for those pesky Owls) were not enough to ensure a victory, the University has finally decided to take a step in the right direction and honor a great man and his vision. Yep, in case you hadn’t heard (wink,wink), Penn State will honor the 50-year anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game as head coach of the Nittany Lions. The first of 409 victories came September 17, 1966. The university announced they will honor the men that began an era of The Grand Experiment prior to and throughout the duration of the game. It may not be the return of a statue that so many of us covet or the apology so many of us feel is due to SuePa and family, but it is an honor nonetheless and that’s a sign of progress any way you spin it. Did I mention there’s a StripeOut brewing? Sheesh, those pesky Owls are in major trouble, even if they are led by a man that is part of a brotherhood that represents 50 years of Success With Honor.
If it’s a prediction you want, then I've got just what the doctor ordered. Its mid-September, the air is slowly starting to turn crisp, and Penn State football has an opportunity at its feet to show some progress. In the crowds, at the tailgates, and looking down from the top of Mount Nittany, Joe and his players will be recognized. We may have been three points shy of a win over Pitt (which just so happens to look much better than a 17-point loss to your little brother if you ask me) and no, we probably are still not close to seeing that statue dusted off and polished, but with fall on our doorstep I smell progress in the air. Even if it is at a pace that defies our expectations. I predict we ring that victory bell on Saturday, September 17th. Perhaps we will see it rung by a collection of those who represent Dear Old State today and by those who were the first to raise the Success With Honor flag we all rally around. And did I mention a StripeOut is brewing? Just in case all else was not enough. Enjoy the moment my friends!