Penn State football looking to rewrite history with matchup against Ohio

Story posted September 9, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Evan Popalis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa – A somewhat unfamiliar foe makes its way to the confines of Beaver Stadium Saturday afternoon to battle Penn State.

Ohio University has not stepped foot on the Happy Valley grass field since Sept. 1, 2012. It was the first game under former head coach Bill O’Brien, now the offensive coordinator for current No. 1 Alabama.

Following its first bowl win and a successful 10-4 season, Ohio had its lone Power 5 opponent right before its eyes to open the 2012 campaign.

The Bobcats got their lone victory all-time against the blue and white, etching a 24-14 win into the books. In the head-to-head history between these two programs, Penn State beholds a 5-1 record against Ohio.

James Franklin sees Ohio for the first time in his head coaching career. Franklin is 7-0 as a head coach against teams from the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

The last time these two teams met, it was Penn State that dominated the first half. The Nittany Lions enjoyed a 14-3 advantage heading to the locker room thanks to two passing touchdowns from Matt McGloin.

The final 30 minutes witnessed no offense from Penn State. Three second-half touchdowns propelled the Bobcats to the upset in the season opener for both sides.

McGloin finished that contest 27-48 with 260 yards and an interception accompanied by a pair of touchdowns. Current Los Angeles Rams receiver Allen Robinson II led the Nittany Lions with nine receptions and 97 yards.

The blue and white rallied for a nine-win season in 2012. It was a difficult time for the football team due to all of the noise surrounding the status of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Flash back to the present, Penn State gets its opportunity to find its sixth victory against Ohio and remain unbeaten in the early stages of the college football season. The gutsy Week 1 win over Purdue should benefit the character of this Nittany Lion squad.

The Bobcats had their own flashy opening game, defeating Florida Atlantic 41-38. Now, Ohio looks to play spoiler against Penn State before it heads to Jack Trice Stadium to go up against Iowa State.

Disregarding the COVID-19 season where the Big 10 only played conference games, the Nittany Lions have not lost a home-opener since the Ohio letdown ten years ago. Before that, the blue and white hadn’t dropped its first home game since 2001, a 33-7 defeat at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes.

Even though none of these players and Franklin were a part of the team back in 2012, a sense of revenge could be on the minds of Penn State.

A hot start in 2021 eventually saw the Nittany Lions dwindle due to injuries throughout the fall. The Bobcats stumbled last season and only compiled three wins matched with nine losses. Both squads are hoping to build off opening wins and change the narrative after their respective 2021 campaigns.

Can Ohio make magic happen twice?

Evan Popalis is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).