Penn State stumbled out of the blocks in the first game of the Bill O'Brien era, and things won't get any easier as the calendar shifts to Week 2 and the Nittany Lions hit the road to play at Virginia.
The Cavaliers won eight games and went bowling in their second year under Mike London, and didn't struggle at all with an FCS opponent in Richmond as Michael Rocco threw for 311 yards. Meanwhile, Penn State had looked to escape from the shadow of the Jerry Sandusky scandal with an opener against Ohio.
Now optimistic Nittany Lions fans find themselves searching the history books for losses worse than the one suffered at the hands of the Bobcats.
Penn State might have lost in Week 1, but the team isn't doomed. If not for a minus-3 turnover margin against Ohio, they might not have dropped what turned out to be a one-possession game, and they still retain many of same players that won nine games -- or, if you ask the NCAA, didn't win nine games -- a year ago.
A squad that has already shown its resilience in countless ways now needs to show it on the field with a road test against an ACC opponent. That said, the beleaguered Nittany Lions will be definite underdogs against the Cavaliers.
Game time, TV channel: Noon ET, ABC
Point spread: Virginia favored by 8.5
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For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly. For more on Hoos football, visit Virginia blog Streaking The Lawn.
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