November 12, 2011 – By Scott
It has without a doubt been a horrible week at Penn State with all that has transpired amid the child sex abuse scandal. On top of all the dismissals that occurred, the Nittany Lions must find a way to turn their focus on the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon.
The 12th ranked Nittany Lions will enter the game coming off a 10-7 hard fought win over Illinois last Saturday. The win made head coach Joe Paterno the winningest coach in Division 1 history. But that game turned out to be his last as he was fired this week by the university.
How Penn State responds to all the drama that unfolded this week will be key against No. 19 Nebraska (7-2). There still is a lot at stake for the Nittany Lions as a win would keep their 2-game lead in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten. Getting a win over Nebraska and Ohio State next weekend would ink their spot in the conference championship game.
Nebraska is coming off a huge upset loss to Northwestern. Their defense collapsed and allowed 468 total yards against the Wildcats. This is a great opportunity for their defense to get back on track as Penn State is 88th in the country in total offense. The Cornhuskers will have a challenge however in stopping running back Silas Redd who is averaging 140.6 yards per game since the beginning of October.
Nebraska will bring in the 13th best rushing attack in the nation which is led by quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead who have combined for 1,663 yards on the ground and 22 touchdowns. But they will be challenged on Saturday as Penn State brings in the nation’s eighth ranked defense allowing just 282.3 yards per game.
But in their previous three games, Penn State has allowed their opponents to rush for over 160 yards in two of them and they will be tested against Nebraska once again.
NCAA College Football Betting Lines have tagged Nebraska as 3-point favorites on the road at Penn State. The OVER/UNDER is set at 41 for a game that will be an emotional one for the Nittany Lions without their head coach and leader Joe Paterno.