Friday, October 17, 2008

Lest We Forget, Michigan Comes Calling Tomorrow

Let's face it, with the Phillies dominating our collective brains, it's easy to forget the Nittany Lions are undefeated and ranked third in the country, unless of course, you are like me. And given the dire circumstances surrounding the Michigan football program (see: sucking), it's easy to overlook Penn State's matchup with its arch nemesis in the Big Ten.

But you see, there are no Phillies games this week. There is no Eagles game. And the Flyers, well, suck donkey balls right now, evidence by another high-scoring loss last night. So this week, this Saturday, all focus should be on Michigan and ending that 9-game losing streak against the Wolverines. As a Penn State grad and season ticket holder, I've been waiting for this game all year long. Now that's it's here, I find it stunning to see what has happened to vaunted Michigan. The Wolverines are a horrendous 2-4 and come into Beaver Stadium as 24.5 point underdogs. Holy shit!

For the unfortunate among us that have suffered debilitating loss after debilitating loss to Lloyd Carr's teams, none more devastating than that hack-officiating game of 2005 (HART FUMBLED! AVANT WAS OUT OF BOUNDS! REALLY, YOU CAN ADD TIME TO THE CLOCK ON TIMEOUTS?!? ANDY REID SHOULD BE NOTIFIED OF THIS IMMEDIATELY!), 24.5 points seems awful steep on the surface. But you know what? This ain't Lloyd Carr's Wolverines. This is Rich Rod's, and they suck. Big time.

With Penn State rolling through everyone, this should be a massacre. And it will. And I will love it. And for those of you who think this may be a trap game with a trip to Columbus looming next week and visions of the National Championship dancing in their heads, take a look at this.

"For me I don't use anything in the past as motivation," Norwood said. "But 2005 Michigan ... was tough though."

"Whenever we play Michigan, it's always going to be a big game," defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu said. "Whenever a team has beaten you the past decade, you can't really walk in and say, 'Aw, yea, it's just another Big Ten game.' This is definitely a get-the-monkey-off-our-back type of game."

Ogbu said the team captains have told him time and again to treat the Wolverines just like any other opponent, but he can't help but be more pumped up for tomorrow's game, even if he was in prep school during the 2005 season.

"This is like a playoff game to be honest with you," he said, "because I remember looking back at the 2005 game, the one thing that stopped them from going to the national championship game was Michigan. So we cannot lose to this team."

And how many sentences do you think I can start with "And"? (Answer: A lot)

So yeah, Penn State isn't looking past Michigan. And that's bad news for the Wolverines. Michigan won't be able to handle to Penn State's incredible offensive line, and Daryll Clark can simply pick apart any defense with the help of Evan Royster, Stephfon Green, Deon Butler, Jordon Norwood and company.

And defensively, Penn State has been the best team in the Big 10. Don't expect that to change against Steven fucking Threet.

But my pick for player of the game, Derrick Williams.

If for no other reason than this quote:

"As captains we don't really look back at the '05 season," Williams said. "We don't look back at any season. We're just worried about this season right here. Every year we look at it as 0-0. We don't look at the streak. We just go out there and try to win a game."

There is no thought about losing streaks or devastating losses in Derrick Williams' head. Just winning. And my guess, winning big. After tomorrow, all that will stand in my school's way of a National Championship is the Buckeyes. FUCK MICHIGAN!

And as always, LET'S GO PHILS!!!!!!

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