Here are 20 insights from this past weekend, as Penn State dropped its third-straight game in a tough 33-24 loss to Ohio State.
1. Before we dive into the weekend in Columbus, I’d encourage everyone to go check out John Patishnock’s story on Journey Brown from last week. Here’s a snippet of James Franklin talking about the importance of Journey still being around the program in a non-playing capacity.
2. Was great seeing Penn Staters who came out to our Central Ohio Chapter’s Alumni Mixer Friday Night, including Nittany Lion super fan Paul Frankhouser. You might recognize Paul’s Penn State-themed Hummer. We caught up with Paul for a quick interview about his passion for Penn State.
3. If you’re in Columbus or elsewhere in Central Ohio, check out the Central Ohio Chapter. They do a lot of great work keeping Penn Staters connected deep in the heart of Buckeye country. Follow them on Twitter (@psucolumbus) or visit their website psucolumbus.org.
4. Had a great time at my first Pep Rally of the season. The Blue Band, the Nittany Lion, Lionettes and Cheerleaders brought the energy as usual. You can re-watch the livestream of the Pep Rally on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.
5. This past weekend was my first trip to Ohio State. I must admit everything I had heard about how opposing fans were treated in Columbus was not pleasant. Fortunately, there weren’t too many negative experiences on my end. The occasional snide comment or crude remark, but not anything worse than I’ve heard at other Big Ten away trips. In fact, there were several Buckeye fans who went out of their way to welcome us to Columbus and wished us well for the game, with one OSU fan noting that he has only had positive experiences in his travels to Happy Valley.
6. The process getting into Ohio Stadium was not all that pleasant, however. Only having two working gates for 100,000-plus fans to access the stadium doesn’t seem like a great idea. It probably took us 45 minutes to make our way through the entry gate. Luckily, we got to our seats just in time for kick-off. You won’t see me complaining about the process of entry to Beaver Stadium again anytime soon.
7. There wasn’t an abundance of Penn State fans inside The Horseshoe, but the Nittany Lions fans who were there made their presence felt. Despite the loss, I had a great time interacting with the Penn Staters in our section just near the contingent of Blue Band students who were at the game.
8. The flag-raising ceremony inside Ohio Stadium is so cool. I wish I captured it on video.
9. I’m never one to highlight moral victories, but man, I came away from Saturday’s 33-24 loss incredibly proud of these players and coaches. Penn State played a hell of a game, it just came up short. That’s football. Change the outcome of one or two plays and the game probably ends in the Nittany Lions’ favor. I needed to see a positive response after last week’s upset loss to Illinois and I felt like I got it.
10. Still, the loss last week to the Illini stings a little extra now that we saw a showing like that against a far superior opponent.
11. The trick is now to bring the level of intensity we showed against Ohio State to the four remaining games: at Maryland, Michigan, Rutgers, and at Michigan State.
12. 9-3 is a legitimate possibility and nothing to scoff at, regardless of how high our hopes got with this team after a 5-0 start.
13. The matchup with the Terrapins will be another intriguing game. Maryland topped the Nittany Lions last season, 35-19. Kick-off is set for 3:30 p.m.
14. I thought Jahan Dotson gave a terrific response in his postgame interview about being a leader and making sure his teammates stay focused the rest of the season.
15. Check out Dotson’s full interview, along with interviews with postgame videos of Arnold Ebiketie, Joey Porter Jr. and Parker Washington, on our YouTube page.
16. Look, it’s obviously been a tough season for the Penn State running game. They have not played to expectations, and I’m sure they’d all be the first ones to say so. It’s clear there’s no sign of division in the position group, though. The unit shared a nice moment before kickoff in one of the end zone, circling up with one another as they prepared for action.
17. Big shoutout to Penn State Men’s Soccer, clinching the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday. Congratulations to head coach Jeff Cook on his first trophy with the Nittany Lions. The first of many!
18. Another shoutout to Penn State Field Hockey. The Nittany Lions took down No. 2 Michigan in an overtime thriller on Senior Night.
19. I expect to see a big contingent of Penn State fans at Maryland next week. It seems like Nittany Lions fans always show out down in College Park. There’s still time to sign up for the Friday Night Mixer and Saturday’s Pep Rally. If you plan on going, stop and say hi. I’ll be on site shooting some video for social media.
20. I hope everyone had a fun, safe Halloween. If you rocked a Penn State-themed costume, tag us in a photo of it on Facebook or Instagram.