Let the Penn State-Pitt posturing (or non-posturing) begin; Lions start Saquon Barkley-for-Heisman site

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Lions, Panthers do strange little game-week tango

It is Pitt week for Penn State, which means there will be posturing on one side (i.e., the Panthers) and an attempt at not doing so on the other (the Nittany Lions).

Sixth-ranked PennState has already been installed as an 18 1/2-point favorite (as noted by Pennlive.com), and the Panthers (per Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) have already announced for the second straight year coach Pat Narduzzi will be the only spokesman for the program heading into Saturday’s game, a 3:30 p.m. kickoff in Beaver Stadium.

Lions coach James Franklin has, in the meantime, issued his standard game-week mantra via Twitter – i.e., repeating the name of the upcoming opponent to reinforce the notion that nothing else matters – and star running back Saquon Barkley said after the season-opening 52-0 rout of Akron on Saturday that the Lions are “gonna treat this game like every other game,” according to Mark Brennan of Fightonstate.com.

That has been standard operating procedure for the Lions – their slogan, after all, is “Unrivaled” — and they will try to stick to that. There will be no talk of rivals this week, much less revenge, even though last year’s 42-39 loss to the Panthers likely deprived Penn State of a spot in the College Football Playoff.

It’s just another game. Sure it is.

Let the hype begin

As pointed out by the Land of 10’s Chris Kwiecinski (among others), Penn State debuted a website on Sunday touting Barkley for the Heisman Trophy. Mike Poorman of Statecollege.com, meanwhile, mentions that Franklin hinted last Tuesday that the marketing types had something up their sleeves. Poorman also mentions that Barkley leads the nation in all-purpose yardage, having piled up 246 against Akron.

And now, a word from the ‘Big Uglies’

The key to Barkley’s success, of course, remains the new-look offensive line, which performed well against the overmatched Zips, writes Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record. Guard Brendan Mahon, back from an injury that cost him a sizable chunk of last season, tells Bodani that the goal is to bring back the “hard-nosed football that Penn State football used to be.”

DeAndre Thompkins, predictive punt returner

DeAndre Thompkins returned a first-quarter punt for a touchdown on Saturday, becoming the first Penn State player with a punt-return TD since Derrick Williams ran one back against Wisconsin in 2008. And here’s the thing, Jill Beckman of Philly.com writes: Thompkins called it. Before taking the field he told assistant coach Terry Smith, “Meet me in the end zone.”

Nick Suriano granted waiver

Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com reported Sunday that wrestler Nick Suriano, previously granted a release from his scholarship at Penn State so he could transfer to Rutgers, was granted a waiver request by the Big Ten that allows him to move on to the Scarlet Knights without losing a year of eligibility. The 125-pound Suriano is a New Jersey native.

Field hockey team rolls

Junior forward Moira Putsch had 2 goals and 2 assists Sunday as the No. 7 Penn State field hockey team blanked No. 15 Wake Forest 6-0, according to the school’s website. It was the second straight shutout for the Lions (4-0).

Also in the Land of 10

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.

The post Let the Penn State-Pitt posturing (or non-posturing) begin; Lions start Saquon Barkley-for-Heisman site appeared first on Land of 10.

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