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O’Brien era at Penn State starts off with a loss to Ohio

Ohio v Penn State Getty Images

The theme for Saturday, Sept. 1 in Happy Valley: change, to the fullest extent.

For the first time in over four decades, Joe Paterno wasn’t roaming the home sideline at Beaver Stadium. The Jerry Sandusky scandal changed everything in at Penn State all the way down to the decision to put names on the backs of the classic blue and white uniforms.

The NCAA sanctions, the departures by running back Silas Redd (among others) — it wasn’t what Bill O’Brien envisioned when he took over the program.

But things actually started out promising enough for the Nittany Lions against Ohio. Though just a touchdown favorite, Penn State’s offense immediately looked like an improved unit from a year ago despite losing Redd and not having a proven quarterback. Then, halftime came and everything changed. PSU’s 14-3 lead slipped away. The Nittany Lions offense stalled and everything began looking like a reincarnation of 2011.

Penn State never scored another point and lost to a good Ohio team 24-14. It was truly a story of one half going in the exact opposite direction of the other.

And that was against Ohio — again, a good team, but a beatable one. Penn State travels to Virginia next before facing Navy and Temple. PSU might earn a couple of wins there before Big Ten conference play begins later this month. This has the potential to be a long and difficult season for the Nittany Lions.

The defensive front seven is good, but they can’t be on the field for over half the game. If the offense can execute like it did in the first half, Penn State can go over .500 this year. If the offense plays like it did in the second half, this team will struggle to win five games.

I have little Doubt O’Brien can get things done at Penn State over the long haul — there were flashes early — but consistency already looks like it’s going to be a problem for this team.

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50 Responses to “O’Brien era at Penn State starts off with a loss to Ohio”
  1. latchbeam says: Sep 1, 2012 3:59 PM

    I haven’t seen this type of “Change” when someone took over a job since Obama became president!!

  2. stoutfiles says: Sep 1, 2012 4:09 PM

    It’s gonna be a long stretch of losing seasons for PSU. They will regret not getting the death penalty; watching their once great football program lose to teams like Ohio U. would be sad.

  3. mgmac says: Sep 1, 2012 4:13 PM

    way to go pedophile state univ. great game, way to win won for “the enabler”

  4. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 1, 2012 4:13 PM

    Proud of the support Penn State showed to the football team. If the LT, CB and RB that left the game injured and are out for an extensive period of time, it could be a VERY long year for PSU.

  5. ampatsisahypocrite says: Sep 1, 2012 4:13 PM

    Ohio U. is a legitimately good team, stoutfiles. This was no fluke — 500 yards of offense put up by the Bobcats. Let’s see if mighty Navy or mighty Virginia can duplicate that feat.

  6. mungman69 says: Sep 1, 2012 4:17 PM

    PSU shouldn’t even have a football team. Maybe they don’t.

  7. timpaz says: Sep 1, 2012 4:20 PM

    Penn State fans are in for a long season.

  8. callmecynical says: Sep 1, 2012 4:21 PM

    Good win for Camp OU. Kudos to BK for not adding (State University) after Ohio. BTW, there are several OU’s in BCS leagues. Ohio University should now be added. Maybe, OUA, for Ohio University Athens. Regardless, good win for OU, hope Penn State gets better. Hey CFT, when are you going to get some balls and demand to be listed above NBA and Hockey???? They have been done for months. Does Chris Matthews control the content order?????

  9. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 1, 2012 4:26 PM

    Sagarin had PSU @ 26;Ohio is @ 84. Is Ohio that good or is Penn State still suffering mentally from the Sandusky fiasco?

  10. ampatsisahypocrite says: Sep 1, 2012 4:32 PM

    Not sure, amos. The NY Times rankings had Ohio U. @#26 and Penn St. at @#51. It’s all relative.

  11. callmecynical says: Sep 1, 2012 4:45 PM

    Actually, after watching the game, OU is pretty damnd good and PSU needs to get straight. Not the first win for the MAC against a big time opponent (challenge me newbies). OU’s board of trustees got it right extending Solich’s contract. My new sign off line is this. Hey NBC sports, Hockey and Basketball is over, get a freaking clue, we are watching baseball and football, especially college football. Tell GE to stop drinking the koolaid and get football back on at least the internet besides SNFL.

    Respectivelly,

    Call me cynical

  12. deadeye says: Sep 1, 2012 4:54 PM

    Gonna be a long season PSU. The coma penalty is nearly as bad as the death penalty.

  13. 32maniac says: Sep 1, 2012 5:26 PM

    Its just the first game. Bill Obrien will be a better coach and the team will get better. Ohio looked pretty damned good today.

  14. rickrock6661982 says: Sep 1, 2012 5:50 PM

    Long season?

    More like a long decade..if not, more

    Go ahead and torch cars to that, PSU student body

  15. goodellsadouche says: Sep 1, 2012 6:28 PM

    Torch the Cars!! Demand your Bronze Idol… I mean statue BACK!!!

  16. eyeh8goodell says: Sep 1, 2012 6:38 PM

    Must be the BOT’s fault. LOL.

  17. jsto9 says: Sep 1, 2012 7:03 PM

    I really got tired of ESPN claiming America was “cheering for Penn State.” ummm….noooo? Nobody outside of Happy Valley is cheering for Peen State. Between trying to make the school Americas sweetheart and trying to rebuild the Paterno name, that was a nauseating telecast. Thank God Ohio won.

  18. horses721 says: Sep 1, 2012 8:09 PM

    I was so happy to see Pedophile State lose. So many morons at that school still think Paterno didn’t know anything about children being raped!!! I’m sure if he didn’t coach the football team and was the best Professor on campus, they wouldn’t defend the person. At Pedo State, football comes first and the truth doesn’t matter. Just live in denial. One last thing, do you really think that Sandusky became a child rapist in 1998? You really think that he waited till he was 47 before he liked little boys and Joe Pa”turd”o knew nothing? You are pathetic if you still defend Pa TURD o

  19. canetic says: Sep 1, 2012 8:47 PM

    Karma never loses

  20. steeler1nation says: Sep 1, 2012 9:20 PM

    PSU = Obama

    Everybody with a sane mind in America hates them both.

  21. stairwayto7 says: Sep 1, 2012 9:30 PM

    If you watched any of the game, the 2 plays that changed the game was the dropped int by PSU Def lineman and on the next play the QB throws an off balanced throw that was tipped by a PSU def and caught for a td! Since all you trolls say PSU ion for long haul, I guess any team they beat must REALLY SUCK! BTW Did Pitt win?? LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

  22. barbeaux says: Sep 1, 2012 9:41 PM

    I don’t hate anyone. Does that mean I’m not sane?

  23. luvusa1 says: Sep 1, 2012 10:35 PM

    @mgmac: How ignorant and childish.

  24. luvusa1 says: Sep 1, 2012 10:39 PM

    @horses721: you left off the last 3 letters off your name – ass!

  25. tommy57 says: Sep 1, 2012 11:04 PM

    It’s curious to me why the PSU haters can’t seem to just pass on the PSU stories – they are drawn to each article and seemingly compelled to spew.

    Interesting, isn’t it?

  26. horses721 says: Sep 1, 2012 11:11 PM

    luvusa1
    You are “PEDOPHILE STATE”.
    In case you didn’t know, there is a world outside of Pedophile State football. Like many of you that are part of the CULT of PedoU football, there is a world that exists where people don’t support child rape and hate frauds like Joe Pa. Penn State is a joke and you morons reinforce that belief outside of pedophile valley where the only thing that matters to your cult is football, and not children being raped. Keep burying your heads in the sand and covering our ears. DO whatever y0u can to avoid the truth you Pedo U fans.

    I hope Joe Pa is enjoying the heat below! LOL

    WE ARE PEDOPHILE STATE
    WE ARE PEDOPHILE STATE

  27. horses721 says: Sep 1, 2012 11:19 PM

    tommy57
    It’s interesting that you don’t care about how PSU enabled a child rapist. Then again, you live in an alternate reality where the only thing that matters is Pedophile State football. Keep up the denial of the truth, you and the University are a national disgrace and joke. Time to leave the bubble of Pedophile valley and visit the real world where we can see the truth and don’t ignore it because we liked the football coach. You know, the coach that did nothing for the last 3 years but sit in a press box and soil his depends. The only thing he coached was????????

    WE ARE PEDOPHILE STATE

    WE ARE PEDOPHILE STATE

    WE ARE PEDOPHILE STATE

  28. tommy57 says: Sep 1, 2012 11:23 PM

    @horses

    Some spew at least is intended to make a point. I have no idea what your spew is intended to accomplish, nor do you, I suspect.

  29. rickrock6661982 says: Sep 1, 2012 11:46 PM

    I’m more amused at the fact that Penn State fans are blaming this loss on Rodney Erickson.

    I guess a school of “higher education” teaches you to blame everyone but the ones actually responsible.

    You know…like Paterno

  30. 2fleas says: Sep 1, 2012 11:57 PM

    I could not be happier! The death penalty should have been PSU punishment. I hope they lose every game this season and every season until their penalties expire.

  31. eyeh8goodell says: Sep 2, 2012 12:18 AM

    For anybody that wants a great laugh….go check out the Audibles board at Fight On State. It’s all elaborate conspiracy theories over there to exonerate JoePa and paint him as the scapegoat and fall guy. It apparently goes all the way up to the highest levels of state government (i’m sure they’ll get to the Federal level soon enough). Everybody is to blame but JoePa. LOL.

  32. tommy57 says: Sep 2, 2012 12:43 AM

    @fleas

    None of the PSU players on that field today did anything wrong.

    None of the PSU players on that field today were responsible for the rape of young children.

    None of the PSU players on that field today were involved in a cover-up of wrong doing.

    Every PSU player on that field today displayed courage and dedication.

    “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2

  33. houndofthebaskervols says: Sep 2, 2012 1:12 AM

    What a bunch of assholes!

    Ohio is the new Marshall…good team.

  34. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Sep 2, 2012 2:31 AM

    Since the players are not at fault for the whole sad mess, how about giving them a week off and have the Board of Trustees take their place on the field instead?

  35. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 9:48 AM

    “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2

    How appropriate!

    So the 99% of Society who would have reported the
    child rapist to the Police can now pass judgement on Joe Paterno.

    Joe Paterno knew and did NOTHING!

    Joe will always be the unindicted co-conspirator along with Jerry Sandusky.

    After all, “I wish I’d done more!” is not a dying
    declaration, is it?

    The Chair of the PSU BoT, Ms Peetz, was clear and concise about dealing with all the enablers,

    “We have to be Responsible and deal with Reality”,
    something a lot of PSU football supporters have yet
    to accept.

    After all, isn’t it about

    We are Penn State!

    Roar

    That Roar is now a meow

  36. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 10:01 AM

    If I was on an athletic team at PSU, I would take the new Athletic Marketing by PSU as an insult.

    “One Team”

    Are you kidding me? The Football Culture at Penn State was so used to running things their way that football could have cared less about the other sports,particularly the non revenue sports.

    Now the feces has hit the oscillator, and all the sudden, “We’re all in this together!”

    So all the sudden, I have MY reputation soiled because of a CORRUPT football program.

    PSU is just beginning to face the reality of what has happened with Paterno Sandusky scandal. Wait until they go on the road in both conference and non conference games, matches and meets.

    It is going to be brutal for all of the sports at PSU.

    Welcome to a decade of irreverence.

  37. psunick says: Sep 2, 2012 10:16 AM

    You know, with all of the hype…the Pentecostal frenzy…the religious revival atmosphere…prior to the game, I think it’s just as well that O’Brien lost to Ohio.

    Because now, everyone can look at him as simply our football coach…and not as our Savior.

    (Besides, we’ve already seen how that worked out.)

    Congratulations to Ohio U on a well deserved victory.

  38. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 10:20 AM

    Cruel joke alert.

    “Why did O’Brien put the names on the back of the jerseys?

    “George Mitchell want to be able to identify future
    felons.”

  39. tommy57 says: Sep 2, 2012 10:42 AM

    @ Coach Stagg

    Yes, the 99% have already passed judgement on Coach Paterno, and I agree with them. It’s the smaller percentage, such as you, I think, who are applying the same judgement to everyone else at PSU that is unfair, and somewhat telling (at least to me).

  40. psunick says: Sep 2, 2012 12:34 PM

    Ah, heck, tommy…give amos this one. It is actually rather clever.

    Does he mean that Mitchell will use those uniform names to identify future Penn State PED users (ala his Mitchell Report) or,

    …to identify future Penn State pedophiles?

    Not bad.

    (Though, deep down, I have my doubts that he was trying to be clever)

  41. tommy57 says: Sep 2, 2012 12:53 PM

    @psunick

    OK, maybe somewhat clever, but also more than a little lame (I was actually responding to his earlier post).

    It’s the people like him that I just don’t understand. It’s people like him that somehow believe continued support for the football program automatically equates to a lack of understanding on the part of PSU supporters and students of the enormity of the circumstances.

    Fleas was similar, hoping that PSU loses all games “until the sanctions expire” as if then everything will be fine. Nothing will be fine at PSU again for a very long time, but renewal must start somewhere, and it started months ago at PSU in all areas of the university, not only the football program.

    To me, people such as Fleas and Coach stagg are the one who are focused only on football, which is how this whole mess started. It’s PSU that has moved on and began the process of recovery. It’s people such as Fleas and Coach Stagg that remain stuck in the mud of the past and totally focused on football. They won’t admit to it, but they are what they claim to abhor (or, perhaps, they have no idea what they’re talking about and only post negatives for fun. There’s some of those on this site, too).

  42. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 12:59 PM

    PSUnick

    Can’t take credit for the joke. It was told to me last night at a party by a PSU alum who was @ the game. I merely “cleaned” it up.

    A vast majority of the college football people I know that are still actively involved with their respective programs are highly supportive of PSU alums and supporters standing by the program. Most of them have been sanctioned by the NCAA on program violations and understand completely the stages that PSU is going through. The same stages as with a death of a close family member or friend. You know, Denial, Anger, Hope,Depression and then finally, Acceptance. PSU will be stronger should they finally accept what has happened, and start engaging the future. Forget Paterno, he is dead and mercifully gone. What he stood for, though, lives on and that is what every PSU should be engaged in on Paterno’s legacy. Use what he taught, not what he did or didn’t do. You be surprised how fast PSU could recover. BoT Chair Peetz said it best, “We’ve got to be responsible and deal with reality.”

    It is going to be brutal for PSU alums and supporters across the board in every arena, (academic, social, graduate, and athletic). It was painful last evening to see proud PSU alums have to address the stain on PSU as if they were personally involved in simple party banter. It was has if they were indicted and convicted on the actions (or lack of actions) of Senior Administration officials and Joe Paterno.

    Once Alums embrace what has happened and be proactive in accepting what
    transpired and hold those few accountable, then the real healing begins.

  43. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 1:21 PM

    Tommy57,

    You are myopic if this was ONLY about PSU football. IT was a cover up conducted at the highest levels of a proud University AND by a Head Football Coach.

    You do not work with a football staff 12 to 14 hours a day in close quarters during a football season and NOT know about family situations and dynamics. You could do that for one year, maybe two at most, but to work years and then decades with same people,
    you get to know them inside and out.

    Same with relationships with an Athletic Department, an AD, and University officials. You know the traits and flaws of every one you deal with. Add University politics to the mix and you have a combustible mixture. This is what you had @ PSU and it was a matter of time before it exploded. You know that and I know that. What you have to deal with now is the collateral damage that was SELF inflicted. That is the price the PSU is now going to have to pay.

  44. tommy57 says: Sep 2, 2012 1:44 PM

    @Coach Stagg

    I agree with almost everything you posted, except for your theory that most of PSU must have known and participated in the Sandusky cover-up. 99% of PSU would have been on the phone dialing 911. The other 1% are the Franco Harris’ and, believe me, are a very small minority. Please don’t paint us all with the same broad brush. It’s just not true.

  45. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 2:09 PM

    tommy57,

    Never said 99% of PSU supporters. I said 99% of the people outside the PSU world.

    “You are myopic if this was ONLY about PSU football. IT was a cover up conducted at the highest levels of a proud University AND by a Head Football Coach.”

    Be honest. I have ALWAYS stated Paterno knew. Spanier knew, Curley knew, Schultz knew, Gagnan knew, Harmon knew. These are the people in very high positions within PSU and did nothing. Spanier never briefed the BoT on the 1998 nor 2002 situations until it started to crash around PSU. These are the individuals who need to be excoriated and held accountable. Particularly the Police Chief, Harmon.

    My late dad was an ardent Paterno supporter. The Sandusky situation would have killed him.

    Like Paterno, he was of a different generation. All he would have said would have been
    “Say it ain’t so Joe, Say it ain’t so.”

  46. psunick says: Sep 2, 2012 4:36 PM

    One thing I do believe that you are way, way off regarding, amos:

    That the fans in Charlottesville will boo the Penn State players into submission.

    That opinion likely comes from spending too much time on these PSU threads. The rest of the world isn’t this vicious.

    And yes…I will be totally shocked, and very disappointed, if opposing fans treat our team that poorly.

  47. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 5:33 PM

    PSU, with all due respect

    You have never seen the effects of alcohol and drugs on college students who sit behind the bench of the opposing teams. There is a reason that every football coach has their players wear their helmets on to the field and when leaving the field. Watch any college football game. You will usually see people in CSC events windbreakers, they are there for field security to protect both teams.

    Booing is minor. This isn’t the 1950′s. Absolutely trashing opposing teams is an art form at it’s best. Vulgar and obscene at it’s worst. I have AA batteries thrown at football trainers attending to players on a football sideline. I have seen grown adults use the most foul language on team officials and opposing players in front of their young children and not think anything of it. I have witnessed first hand racial terms and descriptions that would blister dried paint. So don’t tell me that supporters don’t do it.

    The worst case involved two supposedly big football programs on the East Coast. A football assistant very pregnant wife was sitting in the stands with the visiting teams wives and supporters. When the “fans” of the home found out who they were, they were
    merciless in casting doubt on the baby’s father. They went so far as to follow the lady to the concourse when she had to go to the bathroom. Needless to say when stadium security showed up and the “culprits” denied what they were doing, it was a few courageous home fans that did confirm what had transpired. People do very stupid things. Security escorted the “students” from the football section only after enough
    invectives were directed to the football wives upon their exit down the stairs. A formal
    complaint was filed with the University and a critical incident report filed with the NCAA.

    You cannot tell me PSU students don’t do it against Michigan or Ohio State. It is at every football program, usually fueled by alcohol.

    All of it in the name of supporting a “team”.

  48. loadofwash says: Sep 2, 2012 8:38 PM

    Never happens you dumb fuk

  49. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 2, 2012 10:52 PM

    wash,

    Only you could could succinctly put into words that
    Athletic Directors fear from a school’s students on game day. You are exactly the type that are targeted to be watched.

  50. gmen1987 says: Sep 6, 2012 2:59 PM

    I have a feeling tha Karma is going to be whipping the Penn State football teams quite often this season.

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