After a convincing 38-14 win over the rival Iowa Hawkeyes, the Penn State Nittany Lions now turn their attention to what some are calling the unofficial Big Ten title game. That's right folks, we are talking Penn State vs Ohio State.
Urban Meyer has led the No. 9 Buckeyes to an undefeated start, setting the stage for a showdown between the two hottest, bowl ineligible, Big Ten teams.
With the re-emergence of sophomore running back Bill Belton, the Nittany Lions have all of their weapons healthy since the start of the season against Ohio. Belton ran for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns in the onslaught that was last Saturday's game at Kinnick Stadium. Also with a huge performance against the Hawkeyes, are the men playing what some call O’Brien’s trademark position.
Through the first seven games of the season, every college football analyst and game-day broadcaster has taken time to mention the same group of players. The tight ends. According to the Penn State depth chart on GoPsuSports.com, the team carries seven tight ends and each one contributes to the overall offensive success.
O’Brien first became famous for use of his tight ends during his time as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator. With the emergence of Rob Gronkowski as one of the most effective pass catchers in the league, it is clear O’Brien puts an emphasis on his tight ends.
Freshman Kyle Carter and junior Matt Lehman have led the charge for tight ends this season. The two have caught three touchdowns from senior quarterback Matt McGloin. All together, tight ends have caught five of McGloin's 14 touchdown passes.
This group of young men show up each Saturday, and make the job for opposing defensive coordinators significantly harder. As the Nittany Lions prepare for Ohio State this weekend, look for the tight ends to be another major role in the offensive game-plan. They need to be incredibly effective against the Buckeye defense if they want to beat the undefeated squad.
Bill O’Brien celebrates his 43rd birthday today, and the best gift he could get is a win against Ohio State this weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday and the full stadium whiteout will be in full effect with nothing to lose.
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