Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/5/12

The Penn State Nittany Lions opened the post-Paterno era in losing fashion. Now they go in search of that first victory for Coach O’Brien when they pay a visit on the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday afternoon (noon Eastern, ABC).

As of Wednesday morning most college football odds boards were listing the Virginia Cavs as 10-point favorites for Saturday’s game, with a total of 44.

Penn State, with just six starters back from last season, thanks in part to transfers leaking away from a program on probation, was still favored by five points for last week’s season opener at home against Ohio. But the Bobcats are a pretty good team, and they outgained the Lions 499-352 on their way toward handing Penn State a 24-14 defeat.

 

Penn State QB Matt McGloin completed 27 of 48 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, as the Lions built a 14-3 halftime lead. But PSU got totally outplayed in the second half, totaling just over 100 yards of offense while surrendering over 300, as the Bobcats game from behind for the victory.

 

On the other side of this matchup Virginia, with 12 starters back after going 8-5 last year, opened its season with a 43-19 victory over FCS Richmond. The Cavs ran for 184 yards, got a 25/37/311 game from QB Michael Rocco and held the ball for over 37 minutes. But they gave up the cover when they let the Spiders score a touchdown with 30 seconds to go, instead settling for a push as 24-point favorites.

 

As far as a recent history between Penn State and Virginia goes, these two programs last met 10 years ago, a 35-14 Lions victory up in Happy Valley.

 

For what it’s worth the last time Virginia played a Big Ten team was early last season, when the Cavs beat Indiana 34-31.

 

Penn State, meanwhile, hasn’t played an ACC team since beating Florida State in the Orange Bowl six years ago.

 

 

 

 

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