After the amazing Hail Mary pass from third string quarterback Ron Kellog III to Jordan Westerkamp to defeat the Northwestern Wildcats coach Bo Pelini and his Nebraska Cornhuskers were riding an extreme high. They took that momentum and parlayed it into a huge road victory in one of the most intense settings in all of college football, the Big House in Ann Arbor where the Huskers and Junior I-back Ameer Abdullah won another putting the squad right on track for their enormous home matchup against coach Mark Dantonio and his Michigan State Spartans. It was in this contest that we saw the Huskers’ well of good luck finally run dry as they lost to the Spartans and relinquished any hope of an opportunity to compete in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis this season.
The Huskers will be looking to reestablish some momentum as they head east for their Big Ten opponent this week. The Sea of Red will be following their favorite team Happy Valley to watch the Huskers take on Coach Bill O’Brien and his Penn State Nittany Lions. The Cornhuskers are a slight favorite in this contest, but they need to throw all expert predictions out the window when they enter Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions play very well at home and have only lost only one home contest this season. The only loss was to a very strong University of Central Florida team, and even then it was only by a three point difference.
Penn State has won by very close margins at home and also won in blow out fashion. The Lions have won two overtime games at home in 2013. One of those was a thrilling quadruple overtime victory over the Michigan Wolverines on homecoming. Not only did the game result in a Penn State victory it also proved to be freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg’s opportunity to win national freshman of the week. It may have also proved he is the quarterback not just of the future at Penn State but maybe the top pro prospect in his class. The game will also go down in record books as the longest contest in the history of the Big Ten.
The Beavers rolled to a relatively easy victory over the Purdue Boilermakers last week and have had plenty of time to prepare to host the Huskers. Since Coach O’Brien took over the Nittany Lions he has had a history of never overlooking an opponent and always having his team prepared to play. It is this type of attention to detail that allowed the young coach to win the honor of being called Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2012.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will need to enter hostile territory with the same type of attention to detail if they expect to get that much needed rebound victory on the road in a hostile environment. The Huskers are well aware of Hackenberg as well as his all American wide receiver Allen Robinson. What the Huskers must be aware of is how hard a win is to come by at State College. The Huskers cannot make the same mistakes they did a week ago on the road this week; if they do Penn State and their fans will be in the minds of all Husker players all game long.