Pregame Predictor: Home Sweet Homecoming
On deck sits Purdue, reeling from the injury bug and currently stuck in neutral. They’ve been unable to rise to higher-than-normal preseason expectations. It’s not a good time to come limping into Happy Valley by my estimation, as Generations of Greatness come rolling in from far and wide to partake in home sweet Homecoming, complete with numbers on the iconic helmets, striped socks, and a fresh new pair of white Nike cleats! Last time we saw these flashy new throwback threads, Super’Quon was running rampant and DeaSean Hamilton broke the all-time receptions record in a 2017 victory over Indiana.
At the time, the Nittany Lions were 4-0, ranked No. 4 in the country and had just about hit their peak under James Franklin after coming home victorious from that last-second walk-off home run against Iowa. Happy Valley was full of far too much playoff buzz to let something as minor as, check that, something as preposterous as those white shoes ruin the mood.
Two years later we have hit the reset button, breaking in a new QB and a young defense. Along with a fistful of bling, ‘LawnBoyz’ has been added to our dialect to join forces with those gnarly WildDogs we’ve grown to love so much. Both are a sure sign that we have officially ushered in a brand new era of Penn State football. For all those scared of the winds of change, I remind you that Linebacker U is alive and well, in fact, as strong as it’s been in at least a decade.
We might not be quite as high in the polls as we were last time those retro Generations of Greatness uniforms showed up, but then again, holding steady just outside of the Top 10 is a whole lot closer to the ultimate goal than when the McSorley-era started. The Lions didn’t even sniff the Top 25 at the beginning of their Big Ten Championship season. A matchup versus Purdue may have intrigued us back in August, but when a team like Purdue loses a player like Rondall Moore, it has to take at least a little wind out of the sails. There’s a jungle up ahead for this next generation of Nittany Lions, who are just beginning to feel their swagger, and it’s a bad time to come limping into Happy Valley as home sweet Homecoming gets underway: Penn State 47, Boiled Over 9.