STATE COLLEGE PA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Matt McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions throws a pass during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Penn State will try to get in the win column this Saturday against Virginia on the road.
Penn State is coming off a very disappointing loss in its season opener at home against Ohio University, 24-14. The Nittany Lions were very good early on, building a 14-3 lead before giving up 21 unanswered points.
The main concern is the defense, which gave up 499 yards of offense to the Bobcats, including 324 yards of the passing variety by Tyler Tettleton. Nittany Lion head coach Bill O'Brien says the key on defense will be correcting mistakes.
"There's a lot of stuff to build on. Usually close football games, they come down to eight or nine plays on both sides of the ball. We turned it over, they didn't turn it over. They converted on third down in the second half on offense, we didn't convert on our offense on third down in the second half. We had chances to break passes up, make interceptions. We had chances to hit guys that were wide open or catch the ball being wide open, and we did not make those plays and Ohio did."
On the positive side, Matt McGloin was solid in his season debut, throwing for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 27-of-48 passing.
Head coach Bill O'Brien says he's looking forward to his team's first road test.
"I've coached in games in the Oakland Raiders' stadium, so I've been in some hostile crowds," O'Brien said this week. "I think at the end of the day we've got to be able to deal with the crowd noise, because having gone to Charlottesville many times at Georgia Tech and Maryland and Duke, it's a very loud home crowd, it's a great home advantage for Virginia, and we've got to do a great job this week of practicing with the crowd noise because that's the biggest thing, not what they're yelling but how loud they are."
Virginia is feeling very confident after handling an overwhelmed Richmond Spiders team, 43-19. The Cavaliers were tremendous offensively, racking up 545 total yards. Junior quarterback Michael Rocco was impressive in competing 25-of-37 for 311 yards and a touchdown.