Five things to look for as Penn State begins the Bill O'Brien era by playing its toughest season opener in years against an Ohio team that was picked to go 12-0 by one Sports Illustrated writer.
No. 1: Equal expectations
We've heard all the hype: Bill Belton can fill Silas Redd's big shoes at running back; Allen Robinson can be a star receiver; Adrian Amos is one of the best players on the team as a versatile defensive back; quarterback Matt McGloin has command of the new offense; the offensive line has developed nicely.
Is any of that true? Who knows.
One thing about football, when you play only once a week, there's so much time to talk someone up that it often becomes gospel. That's especially true for new starters in season openers.
Belton, Robinson and Amos -- who are part of a sophomore group that has dubbed itself the "Supa Six" -- have all the potential in the world, but at this point in their careers their play has not yet earned them the hype they've been getting.
Also, McGloin has not yet earned the reputation of being a steady, reliable quarterback who makes good decisions, and the offensive line, with four new starters, hasn't earned anything in the trenches.
We'll see starting today if any or all of them are worthy of the hype.
No. 2: Control emotions
This goes for both teams. Clearly, the Penn State players are going to be playing with an incredible amount of emotion after dealing with the Sandusky scandal fallout all offseason, but don't forget that the Ohio kids have had this game circled all year and will be fired up looking for a chance at a signature win for their program.
Whichever team can avoid letting the emotions interfere with execution, especially early in the game, should have the upper hand. Typically that would be the PSU players in a game against a MAC opponent, but that won't necessarily be the case today since the Bobcats have a lot of experienced players.
No. 3: Pressure QB
This is a good opportunity for PSU's vaunted front seven to showcase its talents by getting a lot of pressure on Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton. The Bobcats run a pistol offense, and Tettleton is used to getting rid of the ball quickly.
This could be a coming-out party for redshirt freshman defensive end Deion Barnes to show off his pass rush skills, along with senior end Sean Stanley. Everyone is expecting more blitzes under new defensive coordinator Ted Roof, so look for linebacker Gerald Hodges to be on the prowl.
The front seven must get to Tettleton to help protect the secondary, which could be in for a tough day if the rush doesn't get to the quarterback.
No. 4: Getting their kicks
If this is a close game, as many expect, then Penn State might need a big play or two from new place-kicker Sam Ficken and/or new punter Alex Butterworth.
Ohio kicker Matt Weller was 19-of-20 on field goals inside 40 yards last season, so that could be a factor late.
No. 5: Player to watch
The quarterback is now in total control of the PSU offense, and McGloin gets his first chance to show he can handle that responsibility, both mentally with good decisions and physically with good throws.
McGloin has always thrown the short, underneath routes well, and if he can do a good job with his reads and hit his receivers in stride so they can run after the catch, the Lions' new offense should be able to get a lot of first downs and control the clock.
Prediction: PSU, 24-16.