Good thing FrankLion is in charge and not us because if we were, we just might be as unprepared as that Pat Narduzzi-led Pitt team was last week heading into this week’s noon clash with the Golden Flashes. Ba-dum-bum…and with that subtle little dig, we finally put Pitt to rest and move on with the rest of our season! There is no choice really. Game three is staring us in the face already and I’ve got to be honest here, after the first two I’m really starting to like this new group of Nittany Lions. They showed us heart to open the season and they showed a ton of growth one week later. The scary part is, I think they’ve only begun to scratch the surface. There is a lot more football to be played and plenty of Big Ten landmines to navigate along the way, but I already see small glimpses of something very special in the works.
Up next is a noon clash in Happy Valley that has all the makings of a tune-up. With all due respect to our opponent, Kent State has played that role with us more than a few times over the years, along with the rest of the Big Ten conference elite. The Golden Flashes are perennially a middle-of-the-pack member of the ultra-competitive Mid-American conference (the MAC) that has enough firepower to usually make a game of it early but nowhere near enough to hang around for the long haul. This year is no different, even if we do see a few of those growing pains that haunted our boys in Blue and White during the fourth quarter of game one and for much of the first half in Pittsburgh.
So we came away from the Steel City feeling like we might just have a team on our hands that meet our lofty expectations. Nationally the critics agree, although they weren’t nearly as hard on us after that close one to App State as we were. In fact, not only did Miles Sanders make the front cover of last week’s Sports Illustrated but the win over Pitt was ranked one of the Top-3 statement games in week two, and despite our No. 11 ranking in the AP poll, the oddsmakers have us with the sixth best odds of making the College Football Playoffs. A showdown for the ages looms ahead as the Evil Empire Ohio State beats their chest as the top dog, according to those same oddsmakers. But first things first or all those expectations will be gone in a Golden Flash. Hurricane Flo may have taken a turn further south but don’t let the sunshine fool you Saturday in Happy Valley as the Nittany Lions have a hurricane of their own slowly starting to churn: Penn State 45 Kent State 6.