QUOTE(PSU_Lions_84 @ Jul 13 2009, 01:09 PM)
Hi, Akron fans! I appreciate being able to read and comment on your site. I try not to be a homer, but present realistic facts and figures to back up my opinions. I have followed CFB in general and the Nittany Lions in particular since 1968, so have a little knowledge of their program.
My goal is to discuss, not mock or disparage. I appreciate the same courtesy. If you feel I have crossed the line, let's discuss rationally. Deal?
First, let me stress that I admire your enthusiasm. As one of you wrote, if you go to a game thinking you will be beat, odds are great that will happen. Keep rooting for your team, with confidence and flair!
Second, tho, let me add that I think Akron COULD probably beat Penn. Although the Quakers are 28 - 22 since the 2004 season, the level of competition in the Ivy League is way down from the glory years of the early 20th century.
Oh, wait a second: You guys were talking about beating Penn STATE? Hmmm . . . . I think you will find that somewhat more problematic. The Lions are 40 - 10 over the last four seasons, and play in a conference that, while not to SEC standards, is still probably the second or third toughest D-1 conference. Yes, Penn STATE lost its defensive secondary, a large part of the offensive line, etc., etc. from last season, but there are many indicators they have reloaded at most positions. For example, Aaron Maybin is gone (did you know he started the 2008 season as the THIRD-string DE?); Jack Crawford appears to be ready to step in and succeed at that position. Yes, the three best receivers in the school's history are also gone; however, some of the current players -- Zug, Brackett, Powell, Moye -- have significant playing experience. And, Clark has a full year of experience in running the team.
Back to the defensive side: Again, most of Penn State's secondary is gone. If you read more of Penn State background at CBSSports and other places, you will have seen that many fans see this year's secondary as "addition by subtraction", as many of us felt the DBs were the weakest part of the D. There are some players with game experience -- Astorino and Wallace come to mind -- and the "new" players are by-and-large bigger than those who left. Their additional size and skill may make up for game experience.
Given the Lions' rebuilt offensive line and out of respect for what appears to be a high-powered Zip offense, I fully expect Penn State's offensive scheme to be pretty vanilla. Lots of Royster and Green coming out of the backfield, looking to exploit the 3-3-5 defense. They have the speed and skill to break loose some long runs, esp. on the outside.
Finally, let's not forget the bench depth. Both teams play in the same geographic area -- early September in Happy Valley is obviously not like playing in the Swamp. But, given that is the first game of the season, I expect to see Penn State play a lot of kids, if for no other reason than to keep legs fresh. Not sure Akron has the bench to offset that apparent Penn State advantage.
Someone quoted the 2000 Toledo-PSU game. Fair enough to mention that game, but probably also fair to mention that
(1) Akron is 1 - 18 all-time against the Big10(11).
(2) They are 12 - 21 on the road.
(3) Two of those losses came against Penn State, by a combined score of 82 - 26.
As I mentioned in the CBSSports thread cited above, the Zip offense is probably the kind of O that can beat Penn State, so I am not suggesting the Zips have no chance to win. As a Penn State fan, I obviously believe Akron will not gain the victory, altho I fully expect this to be a good game.
Again, many thanks for letting me drop in. The BigTen Network obviously believes this game will be exciting, as they have already announced they will carry it. Good luck in this game and in your entire season!
If that number signifies a graduation class, then I am from the same vintage (the difference being UA variety, of course). I'm also a native Pennsylvanian, who became a college football fanatic even prior to being a Zip follower when I first came to school here. If you can fondly recall the days of ABC college football on a leaf-blown, fall Saturday afternoon, culminated by the incomparable Prudential College Football Scoreboard (Ohio U grad Dave Dials running the show), then we have common ground indeed. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must mention that there was another team in Pennsylvania that caught my fancy at an early age and I was fortunate to have experienced several of their home games in the National Championshop year of 1976. I wound up taking a slightly unusual path towards a pursuit in engineering, deciding that I'd be better off a few hours from home in Akron as opposed to being a "commuter". I haven't regretted my decision in the least.
But we were supposed to be talking about the UA-PSU game. I am glad to see that you will at least offer that there is a "chance" Akron could pull off the upset. It seems as though quite a few of your fellow PSU fans do not share this opinion. Note, when I say "chance" I am not assigning any particular probability. I think it's been a little misunderstood, that when some of us Zip fans think we have a "chance" in this game that it somehow follows that we "expect" to win. I doubt there are many Zip fans who would say the probability of a Zip victory is 0.5 or above (of course, it's the coaches job to make sure that the PLAYERS believe this however). On the other hand, I don't think you'd find many Zip fans who would put the probability at 0.0, where it seems some of the PSU fans think it should be. Most of us are fully aware of the task at hand. Penn State is a powerful program (you had the decency to leave out the 70-24 debacle in 1999.......you could have said THREE of Akron's Big-10 losses were to PSU by a combined 152-40) and it will take exceptional effort and execution on the part of the Zips to make this a game, and it will most likely take a sub-par performance by the Lions to put the upset within reach. For everyone's sake, I hope the Zips play well and if the Nittany Lions still manage to win the game handily, then you'll get nothing but congratulations from me.
BTW, while the Big-10 is obviously significantly stronger than the MAC, I'd still take the Big-12 or PAC-10 over the Big-10 a this point. It's just an opinion.
Edit: After thinking about it, I've decided the PAC-10 and Big-10 are about equal. But neither is up to the SEC or Bg 12.