For as long as the off-season seems, that’s how quickly football season seems to fly by. We are already more than halfway through the college football season and nearing the midway point of the NFL season.
Here’s a few thoughts on Penn State’s biggest game so far in the Bill O’Brien era and Bishop McDevitt honoring their former star and current all-pro running back LeSean McCoy.
Penn State hosts undefeated Ohio State on Saturday
Every so often, it happens that the best teams don’t end up playing for the championship. Upsets, injuries and even computer-generated rankings have cost top teams a chance to play for a title. However, I cannot imagine there was ever another situation where the two best teams in a league were both ineligible to appear in the championship game.
This coming Saturday, Happy Valley will play host to what many are considering the unofficial Big Ten championship game when the scorching hot Nittany Lions host the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State is in the final year of their postseason ban, while the Nittany Lions are in the first year of a four year ban — making both ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game this season.
After a disappointing 0-2 start to the season — both games that Penn State should have won — the Nittany Lions have run off five straight victories, including an absolutely dominating performance this past weekend in a 38-14 win at Iowa.
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin has had his fair share of critics over the past few years (myself included), but he has played almost flawlessly in Bill O’Brien’s offense. McGloin has been so good this season that he was even booed by Hawkeye fans on Saturday night — he’s heard boos in seasons past, but usually from home crowds. Through only seven games, McGloin has thrown 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Last season, he threw only eight touchdowns in 12 games.
And as great as McGloin and the offense have played, the defense — led by seniors Michael Mauti and Steelton’s Jordan Hill — has been even better.
As of Monday night, more than 1,000 students have already begun to camp out in “Nittanyville” outside of Beaver Stadium for Saturday night’s game. Penn State’s football program was certainly rocked by the Sandusky scandal, but the play of the team under O’Brien has re-energized the fan base and put Penn State football back onto the front page of newspapers for all of the right reasons.
Both sides of the ball will face their biggest test to-date when the Buckeyes come to town on Saturday night, but the way the Nittany Lions have played in recent weeks, there can’t be many teams in the country — nevermind in the incredibly weak Big Ten — that would want to play Penn State in front of a rabid home crowd on Saturday night.
Bishop McDevitt honors LeSean McCoy
These days, Philadelphia Eagles all-pro running back LeSean McCoy is a headache for defensive coordinators throughout the NFL. In high school, he must have been an absolute nightmare for opposing teams.
In only 33 games for the Bishop McDevitt Crusaders, McCoy rushed for a jaw-dropping 6,654 yards and 71 touchdowns — the numbers would have been even more impressive if an ankle injury didn’t end his senior season after only four games.
McCoy’s No. 20 Bishop McDevitt jersey was retired in a pregame ceremony on Saturday at Bishop McDevitt’s homecoming game against Red Land. Only McCoy and Super Bowl Champion and former all-pro running back Ricky Watters, who starred for the Crusaders in the mid-80s, have had their jerseys retired at Bishop McDevitt.
For the game, undefeated Bishop McDevitt’s high-powered offense erased an early deficit and pulled away from the visiting Patriots in
the second half in a 44-21 victory.
Jeff Cavanaugh writes sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock stars for SaraBozich.com. Follow him on Twitter.