Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 9/7/12
The culture at the University of Virginia is that of the Virginia Gentleman, a holdover from Southern genteel society, so says the schools website. The school that was founded by Thomas Jefferson has always prided itself on having a dignity above other public institutions, of being what many consider a Public Ivy a notion that Virginia is the equal to an Ivy League school and for having one of the truly unique and historic campuses in the nation. Though dont call it a campus around Charlottesville, its known more as The Grounds. Only every so often are the schools fox hunters challenged to let down their hair and get frothy at the mouth, and thats usually reserved for when football rivals North Carolina and Virginia Tech come to town. That will be challenged on a different level Saturday when Penn State visits Charlottesville for a football game that might not be the top story of the day at Scott Stadium. Penn State has gone from one of the most respected collegiate sports programs in the nation 11 months ago to the most disgraced in NCAA history after former defensive coordinator and long-time pal of the late legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse this past summer. A subsequent report filed by former FBI director Louis Freeh revealed that Paterno and other high-ranking PSU officials knew of his actions yet went to great lengths to cover them up for the sake of the football program. The NCAA stepped in and delivered Penn State a series of penalties that will cripple the program for years. The Nittany Lions opened their season at home last weekend, but now they must hit the road, and the general belief is trips away from Happy Valley wont be so happy in how anyone representing the Penn State program is treated. Weve said since day one that road games are going to be pretty brutal for us, Penn State fullback Michael Zordich said this week. Thats something we have to deal with. Typically, even when youre not in our situation, thats how road games are. Virginia coach Mike London wasnt sure what Virginias administration might do in addition to its normal security for this game. That it starts at noon will help, as tailgaters wont have a great deal of time to load up on bourbon, a purported favorite among many Virginians. Our game-day operations people and the athletic department, they always give messages to our crowd at the stadium about the conduct and about having guests in the house and things like that, London said. I would hope and I would think that our crowd would be in it for the game, not for any other reason. London has also sent a strong message to his team forbidding them of cross the line that might be tantalizingly enticing. Part of the decorum of playing college football, particularly here, is having sportsmanship about you, said London, who is in his third season as the head man in Charlottesville. Penn State coach Bill OBrien is no stranger to the atmosphere at Virginia. As a former coach at three different stops in the ACC, hes quite familiar. So are Penn State defensive coordinator Ted Roof a former head coach at Duke and linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden, who was the head coach at Maryland in the late 1990s. Its a very loud home crowd, OBrien recalled. Its a great home advantage for Virginia, and weve got to do a great job this week of practicing with the crowd noise because thats the biggest thing; not what theyre yelling, but how loud they are. Most of OBriens previous trips were back when George Welsh was the head coach and Cavalier football was on a roll. The Cavaliers were nationally relevant they even rose to No. 1 in the nation in 1990 and Scott Stadium was always full and loud. But apathy set in during the Al Groh years, and London, who is in his third season, has the ship headed in the right direction, and the fans are noticing. In addition to this being Penn States first road game and the emotions it will engender from the home folks, this is a very important game for Virginia and its credibility as an ACC contender. Thats why keeping its players focused amidst the circus that is certainly headed there is so important. We understand things that happened, the news that was covered, said London, whose team beat Richmond last week, 43-19. We understand the tradition of Penn State. We understand the prestige of Penn State. In the end, its a football game we have to be concerned about.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

Six reasons Raiders' move to Las Vegas will be awesome

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Laettner taunts Kentucky after Elite Eight heartbreaker

Chargers finally sell out season tickets after two months

Report: Heat still hoping to trade Chris Bosh

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker