Every year, the Zips have a game like tomorrow's. At best, they play tough for a few quarters against the BCS powerhouse. At worst, it's a laugher from the start.
Can you expect different on Saturday? Here is what must happen for Akron to contend past the first half:
Chris Jacquemain must play a mistake-free game. He doesn't necessarily have to throw for 350 yards, but he cannot stall or end drives with bad decisions. Conversely, Akron must catch PSU's All-Big Ten quarterback
Daryll Clark off guard. Blitz, blitz, blitz. The Lions will march up and down the field with
Evan Royster carrying the ball. The Zips' only hope is to force Clark into some bad throws, and then to take advantage with interceptions.
Akron must take chances down the field, especially if it becomes apparent that the running game is not thriving. Penn State's weakness is the secondary. It's the perfect game to air it out. Also, the Zips have nothing to lose. Being aggressive to the point of being risky is the only chance for success.
Happy Valley will be packed with 110,000 human beings with the sole ambition to disrupt Akron's offense with noise. False start penalties will stall the offense in terms of yardage and confidence.
Akron is about a four-touchdown
underdog. The over-under is about 59. So oddsmakers think the score will be around 42-17.
Here is a very interesting
Joe Paterno: "You know, last year they were basically a 3-5 (defense). We’re not sure they’re going to stay with the 3-5 or whether they’re going to go to a 4-3. So we’ve had to do a lot of extra practicing because we’re not sure what we’re going to get. So I think it will be a challenge for the offensive line to make whatever adjustments we’re going to have to make ‘cause you can’t cover all of it."
PSU's student newspaper wrote an interesting
column about the
Walt Harris connection to Penn State.
Here is my interview with BlackShoeDiaries.com. And
here is my interview with NittanyWhiteOut.com. These PSU bloggers are on top of their coverage!
Several MAC bloggers, me included,
opined about this weekend's action. It's the first installment of the MAC Bloggers Roundtable.
told the media that the Zips' offense is looking to exploit the inexperienced PSU secondary. Also, he said he does not expect Paterno's defense to blitz very much.
Here is a Penn State distraction: Freshman linebacker
Mike Zordich was
charged with DUI. He boasted a Herculean BAC of 0.19.
I am leaving tonight for Happy Valley. It will be my first trip out there. I got really great tickets (probably in the midst of a ton of PSU fans). Anyhow, I'll blog when I return on Saturday night or Sunday.
I think the Zips will score at least 21. If Akron can force at least four turnovers and prevent Penn State from putting together momentum, they can hold PSU to 21, as well. Because everything going perfectly is quite unlikely...
Penn State 35, Akron 21