Pregame Predictor: Sweet Home Happy Valley
Nothing can cure the heartbreak of back-to-back losses better than facing Rutgers either, and that’s just who the Nittany Lions have on tap to get back on the winning track. I pity the Scarlet Knights. They picked the wrong time and the wrong venue to face us. Penn State is favored by 31 and not a soul in the room is having much doubt that we will cover the spread. Despite a somewhat respectable (by their standards) 4-5 record which includes 3 Big Ten wins this early for the first time in their short history as a conference member, Rutgers is walking into the lion’s den Saturday at high noon, both literally and figuratively. In short, prepare for the onslaught, ‘cause it’s coming down harder than Mother Nature’s blustery weather. The Storm may have fallen just short in Columbus and East Lansing (by 4 points total to be exact, just to remind you) but it is alive and well in Sweet Home Happy Valley this weekend.
Inside the mud-slinging trenches that represents social media nowadays, everything seems calm at the moment and the Penn State Bandwagon keeps rolling right along; minus a handful of naysayers of course, mostly those that jumped on under the bright lights of that shiny No. 2 ranking we wore on our chest for a week or two. Goodbye and good riddance I say. If you can’t hang when the chips are down, then you shouldn’t be here at all. Which brings to mind this years Grand Marshall of the Homecoming festivities: John Urschel. When our chips were down and at our darkest hour, John Urschel was a reminder to all the finger-pointers that our ‘football culture' was much, much more than simple X's and O's. John Urschel was and is a reminder to all of us that The Grand Experiment is alive and well despite the loss of our beloved JoePa, the architect behind Success With Honor.
Three weeks ago, it seems like an eternity now, we filled Beaver Stadium to the brink of collapse with an all-time record of 110,823. This week, the attendance is expected to be much lower. Some of that has to do with the opponent, some of that has to do with Mother Nature and her frosty fingers, and some of it has to do with the old bandwagon being a little lighter than it was just a few weeks ago. If you’re one of those that fell off the wagon, then let John Urschel be your reminder that Sweet Home Happy Valley is better off without you. We all want victory, we all want to raise that crystal football that represents the best team in college football, but life is bigger than wins and losses. Life is about family, and when our chips were down, the ones that stuck around made our family stronger than ever. After all the angst over the past two weeks, a trip to Sweet Home Happy Valley is the perfect remedy to bring this family back together again as Penn State rekindles its winning ways, 52-14. Happy Homecoming to all and much appreciation to all our active duty and military vets!