This week, Illinois coach Ron Zook called his team’s game with Penn State a “must win,” but Joe Paterno took a much more relaxed approach. While he admitted that winning was “very, very high on our priorities,” it’s not the end all, be all for the Nittany Lions in their Big Ten home opener.
Look, JoePa has a lot of years behind him, and as much as the Penn State faithful don’t want to hear it, this team is a work in progress. Freshman abound. It’s a very young team, so I think Paterno is playing it cool. If the team can win the games it’s supposed to and develop for next year, great. I know fans want a major bowl bid and a shot at the BCS Championship Game every season, but this isn’t going to be that year for the Nittany Lions.
So, what can they do against Illinois? Play well. Come out aggressive in the first quarter and not let up. Excel in the red zone. Develop a solid running game. Be tougher on defense and make some good plays. If they do all that, it should add up to a win.
It’s not the end of the road for Penn State’s 2010 season – it’s only just the beginning.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits