Lions must beware letdown in trip to Purdue
West Lafayette, Indiana in November. It’s probably not most people’s idea of a great weekend getaway.
But Penn State’s football team can’t view it that way, tempting as it might be. As QB Matt McGloin said earlier this week, this team has four games left, and the seniors have four games left in their Penn State careers. So, every game really counts.
There was much hype and crowd energy for last week’s contest with Ohio State. The game was on ESPN. There will be little crowd frenzy for this game, certainly not for the Lions. The team has to recover from a tough loss. The audience on ESPNU will be a fraction of what the Mother Ship brings.
Penn State must put all of that out of their minds, and not fall into the letdown trap. This is made all the more difficult in that Purdue is 3-5, has lost four in a row, and hasn’t won a conference game yet.
The Boilermakers did, however, lose by just three points to Notre Dame, and take Ohio State to overtime before losing that one.
So, there is a pretty decent team hiding inside that very plain 3-5 exterior.
A team that would be very happy to pluck a win from a disinterested Penn State squad.
Penn State’s emotions have run very high in just about every game this year. It would be very understandable if the tank were empty on a gray early November day in the middle of Indiana, against a lackluster opponent, in a game to which nobody is paying any particular attention.
These Lions must somehow remember they can still finish 9-3 and set the program on solid footing to negotiate the coming three bowl-less, scholarship-challenged years. These seniors can leave their mark on this program for a long time to come.
They have to find it inside themselves to want to do it in creaky Ross-Ade Stadium.
Here’s hoping they can.