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Shaken Nittany Lions must regroup

November 11, 2011
By RICH GIBSON - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

A week ago, the headline read: 'Jury still out on Penn State.'

We were, of course, referring to the Nittany Lions' remaining three regular season games against Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin, respectively.

Seven days later, these are sad days in Happy Valley where the program has suffered catastrophic damage, including the removal of coaching icon Joe Paterno.

Only time will tell how the team responds for its next three games starting Saturday at University Park. It seems logical the Lions' players who adored Paterno will attempt to rally together under the most difficult of circumstances.

Four other conference games are on this weekend's Big Ten slate including the Buckeyes visit to Purdue. Here are our projections.

NEBRASKA (7-2, 3-2) AT PENN STATE (8-1, 5-0). Should be a strange atmosphere in 106,000 Beaver Stadium and more than a few subdued tailgaters gathered to discuss the darkest days in Nittany Lions' football history. Cornhuskers, 17-10.

OHIO STATE (6-3, 3-2) AT PURDUE (4-5, 2-3). Scarlet & Gray should be out of their comatose state by now and seeking their fourth victory in a row. Buckeyes, 30-17.

RICE (3-6, 2-4) AT NORTHWESTERN (4-5, 2-4). Following last week's upset of Nebraska, Cats are back on track for bowl eligibility.

Bringing in Conference USA Owls was also a brilliant move.

Wildcats, 45-14.

MICHIGAN STATE (7-2, 4-1) AT IOWA (6-3, 3-2). Hawkeyes coming off unexpected win over Michigan, though making it two in a row doesn't seem likely.

Spartans, 31-20.

MICHIGAN (7-2, 3-2) AT ILLINOIS (6-3, 2-3). Probably asking too much for Illini to hand Maize and Blue second consecutive loss.

Wolverines, 35-17.

WISCONSIN (7-2, 3-2) AT MINNESOTA (2-7, 1-4). Still-smarting Badgers lit up Purdue for 62 last week and will once again not take prisoners in this one.

Badgers, 50-13.



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