PENN STATE v temple - the Owls of Da'Hoode - Oktoberfest 2010!

Please pass me the cherry striped pants.

The mighty Temple Owls soar into Beaver Stadium this week riding a 3-0 record.  Yes, Temple has a better record than Penn State - I don’t know all the stats, but this has to be a rare occurrence -
Just as unique is game time:  3:30pm.  The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and live-blogged on the700level.com
The Owls, and their coach, Al Golden, fight fight fight for the cherry and the white, so expect to see peppermint striped pants and candy apple red clad fans.  And yes, they do have fans.
The weather forecast is currently (an adverb that, this week, I can’t stress enough) high 67F low 48F, with periods of sun and clouds - and... 95% probability of a thunderstorm in the evening (according to accuweather). Yay!
We will be celebrating Bavaria’s 200th (and our 8th) Oktoberfest at the tailgate, serving up:  roast pork & sauerkraut; beer brats; kielbasa; a variety of other grilled and delicious meats; german potato salad; pretzels; beer; desserts; and, so on.
With the attractive later kickoff, the parking lots will open at 8am.  We will be there when they open the gates and we’ll be tailgating before and after the game.  We’ll be tailgating in the Green Lot (please email or DM for specific directions/cell #s if you need them) - and flying the state flag of Bavaria (blue & white checked).
As always, all are welcome and contributions are appreciated but not necessary.  Check 2thelionfootball.com (ie here) for any last minute changes/information.

Image from: google


Some of Claire Daines Best Work Ever; Blue White Roundtable, temple edition.

We're a quarter of the way into the season, and at this point we're starting to see how Penn State stacks up this year. What's the biggest positive and negative you've seen so far?

The biggest positive so far for me has been Robert Bolden. He has exceeded my expectations and quieted my panic that materialized after he was named as starting quarterback. I'm not going to pretend that he's been perfect or anything near it - but I really think that he has performed as well as any first year starter - regardless or age and/or experience. Seriously friends, can you imagine what would have happened to the 2005 team if they had faced that Alabama team?

The biggest negative for me has been the tackling - and the general disconnect on defense. The turnover ratio is a serious concern, serious.

The Big Ten has had mixed success this first month--Ohio State beat Miami, but Iowa lost to Arizona. Michigan and Michigan State have been better than advertised, but Penn State and Wisconsin have underperformed. As a conference, how do you think the Big Ten stacks up?

It's early. I'm not ready to say that beating notre dame is "better than advertised" but they certainly have been entertaining to watch. We at 2theLion wish Coach Dantonio a speedy and full recovery - he's going to have to take a "time out" but I'm sure he'll be back to work soon.

As far as the Big Ten goes as a conference, I'd say it's a typical start to the year - nothing too shocking (although the iowa loss did surprise me). It often seems like the Big Ten as a whole looks past the early games and that the season "really" starts with conference play - I think they'll be fine.

It was recently announced that Penn State had extended the Temple series for another three years. How do you feel about playing the Owls on a regular basis?

I'm old so I like playing Temple - it reminds me of my childhood. I'm also a Temple grad - so I like it that they get a chance to play a team like PSU and be on TV, and, every 4 years or so, raise their attendance numbers.

Temple's Al Golden seems to be a popular choice to replace Joe Paterno, whenever it is that JoePa decides to call it quits. How would you feel about Golden taking over as the head coach of Penn State?

I'm on the Golden bandwagon right now. I'll admit that this is a new vehicle for me, but, so far, I'm really enjoying the ride. I'm proud of what Golden has done at Temple - on the field, but, more importantly, in the locker room, classroom and community. He has Temple players, fans, and admin believing that they can win - it's a big change. As we know, when Golden took over the only thing worse than the football team's record were its grades. The team lost 9 scholarships due to academics the year Golden was hired - he came in and set the standard, one I like to think he learned at Penn State (and maybe uva, but I'm not gonna count that). He's dedicated himself to improving the team as a whole, and each player as a whole. I wish him well - but not that well - at least not until he's wearing a blue tie on Saturdays.

Extra Points:

How many times will the BTN announcers mention that Al Golden played and coached at Penn State?

For those of you watching at home, please do not make this a drinking game - safety first!

Which of the embattled starters is most likely to have a breakthrough game on Saturday?

I'll be rooting for Evan Royster.

Who finishes with more rushing yardage: the entire Penn State backfield or Bernard Pierce?

Again, I'll be rooting for Evan Royster.

Temple has scored 9 points total in the last four meetings between these teams. Do they surpass that in this game alone?

Yes. Maybe.


Flash Player is Outdated and Cumbersome; Penn State v. Kent State

We're just to the 3rd game of the season and Penn State already has a Hockey team -

Thanks to JoePa's Doghouse for this week's questions:

Question #1: We just went toe-to-toe with the #1 team in the country and were defeated rather decisively. It is clear that Alabama’s program is operating on a higher level than Penn State’s. What does our program need to do to reach the elite level of Alabama, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State…?

Well, obviously there is a lot of work to be done with this team - and I don't know if a Penn State team under the Paterno regime is ever going to be similar. I'm not saying that a Paterno team can't be successful - but they're just different.

Alabama did not play a perfect game nor were their players perfect. Another team, on another day, would have taken advantage of the sloppiness and inconsistencies on (the Tide's) offense and their inexperience on defense. On the other hand, bama certainly made the best of our inexperience on offense and our non-existent tackling on defense.

What does Penn State have to do? Well, they have to establish a program that supports and exhibits great recruiting, strength training, conditioning and game play.

Question #2: When I was in T-Town, several seemingly knowledgeable Bama fans said that “the $EC had Texas in the bag until the Pac Ten offer and subsequent ‘bending over’ of the Big XII.” (Shakes head, rolls eyes) What misconception would you love to erase from Penn State fans’ heads so that we don’t sound so misinformed when Tide fans visit us next year?

That we invented the "we are" cheer?

Question #3: What does Penn State need to do in the next 2 games for you to feel that they’re ready to take on Iowa in the Big Ten opener? Feel free to include roster shake-ups that you would like to see.

Seriously? Well, they need to win these next two games as a starter. But in addition to that the defense needs to show up and start tackling and Graham Zug needs to catch a ball.

Question #4: Alabama was a tremendous road trip against a blue blood program with a fanbase as ravenous as ours. It was a marquee game in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, our future schedules are devoid of such a matchup. Put on your AD hat and pick 3 teams you’d have Penn State play home-and-away to fill out the decade. Now take off that hat before you raise parking prices!!!

Texas; Florida; and, what the heck, how about Miami.

Rapid Fire:
Turnovers? Penn State ____, Kent State _____

Please let it be under 3 for PSU and at least 1 for ksu (sorry Flashes).

How many non-BCS schools from Ohio will we play before Kent State shows up on the schedule again?

Who knows? Especially if the Big Ten expands to 9 regular season games. But we've played 3 since the last time we faced the Flashes - so, let's say 3.

Summarize our current recruiting “efforts” in 5 words or less.

Nothing remarkable, yet.

Football isn’t 100% of our lives. What’s the 1 tv show you can’t wait to watch this fall?

Penn State Football Story? oh, and Glee!


Temple hits the Big Time; Penn State v Temple kickoff at 3:30pm

The Big Ten Network announced today that the September 25th Penn State v Temple game will air at 3:30pm.  This is a departure from the traditional 12pm start that has become an annual component of the match-up.

We'll be hosting our (wait for it) 8th annual Oktoberbest Tailgate!


I'm not going to say that it's the biggest game of the year; Penn State v alabama

But it's certainly the biggest game of the year, so far.

Penn State battles alabama tonight at 7pm (EST) - airing on ESPN.

Check for us on Twitter and Facebook tonight.


Blue White Roundtable - the houndstooth edition; Penn State v alabama

1) Penn State's historical tendency is to "turtle up" on offense for big road games, playing not to lose instead of playing to win. What approach will we take Saturday?

Pg: tough question - It will be difficult to be too conservative with a freshman quarterback - because there is nothing conservative about that. We can talk all we want about the state of the bama defense - but the truth is, there is nothing proven about our offense. My guess is that it will be typical Penn State football - a quarter or so of scripted plays - but I think that Joe, Galen and the rest of the crew know fully well that they're aren't going to be successful without taking some chances.

AKT: Turtle up. I cannot imagine us, with a new QB in a hostile environment, all of a sudden opening up the playbook. Not going to happen.

2) Alabama has lost their last two games to Big Ten teams (to Michigan in the 2000 Orange Bowl and Minnesota in the 2004 Music City Bowl). What will it take for Penn State to make it three in a row? How much will Bama miss the Offensive and Defensive MVPs from the 2010 BCS Championship Game, Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus?

Pg: I really don't see many weaknesses with alabama - Our Penn State team is going to have to play a nearly perfect game to keep competitive. Bolden will have to stay composed and connect with the receivers; who, in turn will have to catch the ball. The offensive line will have to improve on run blocking and give our young quarterback more time to let plays develop. On defense, well, the defense needs to allow so very little bend and absolutely no break this week - alabama is not going to wait around for our defense to settle in and get a feel for the game. Adjustments and reactions will have to be made mid play not at the half.

AKT: want to say we'll win. And if we do, I won't be surprised. However, with OLine having issues blocking for the run last week, I doubt there will be much improvement there. They will probably miss Dareus more than Ingram because Ingrams backup Richardson is just as good, if not better.

3) If I see__________early in the game it will make me happy. If  I see__________early in the game it will make me sad. (Be as expansive as you want.)

Pg: Well, if we see Penn State scoring some points early in the game, I'll be elated - also if we see some controlled aggression on defense. What will make me sad is bonehead plays, poor execution and/or lack of "fire in the belly."

AKT: If I see us scoring at least once early in the game, I will be happy. I would like to at least stay with Bama if we cannot win. If I see our defense come out like it did against YSU, I would be sad. They need to be pumped from the first snap.

4) Three 40+ Field Goals; four touchbacks in eight kickoffs; a touchdown on a kickoff return; a new punt protection scheme...Have the Penn State Special Teams turned the corner or is the jury still out?

Pg: The jury is out for me. The actual punting is still a big question mark, and yes, we still need to see how well that "scheme" is going to work against a real rush (ysu, btw, used the same/similar formation). Wagner kicked well into and with the wind, which gives me hope. Fera had some nice kickoffs, but into the wind he didn't make it to the endzone.
AKT: If I see us scoring at least once early in the game, I will be happy. I would like to at least stay with Bama if we cannot win. If I see our defense come out like it did against YSU, I would be sad. They need to be pumped from the first snap.

Quick Hits
  • Pick a side: PSU +11.5 or Bama -11.5?
  • This game has one of the lowest Totals (44) on the board: Over or Under?
  • Penn State rushing yards, Over or Under 130?
  • Where will you watch the game?
1. I still don't make score predictions
2. " "
3. Penn State rushing yards - oy after ysu I'm skeptical - but I'm going to say OVER!
4. I'll be watching the game at home - it's really the smartest place for me to be during a game such as this.

1. I know nothing about spreads, but how but I say we don't win or lose by more than 6pts.
2. Under
3. Over. I really really hope Over.
5. Undecided yet. But it will be with alumni somewhere.


The Inspiration of Greece

We often get asked how we decide on the themes for the tailgates. Most of the time a magazine, cookbook or TV show sparks discussion about potential themes. During the summer we debate and discuss the options, refine the ideas, scrap ideas, and often what we end up at the end of the summer is vastly different than what our initial thoughts were. For example, our first tailgate of the season started when we spied Savuer magazine (http://www.saveur.com/in_this_issue.jsp?issueId=201006) issue #131 which was ‘The Greece Issue’.

Image from Saveur magazine.

Who couldn’t be inspired by the images? And that’s where the discussion started and menu planning was discussed for weeks. Initially there was talk of grilled lamb, souvlaki, and/or lemon chicken. A few weeks later when out to brunch one of the specials of the day was a greek meatball grinder and the menu took an unexpected turn. While meat on a stick (such as souvlaki) is always a hit, a meatball pita is something new to our tailgate and allows for a very mobile meal. We made two kinds of meatballs, one a more greek-traditional meatball and a second that had spinach, feta, and olives mixed in. The sauce for the meatballs was a home made tzatziki and of course, more feta.

With the ‘main’ dish now decided, it was time to turn our attention to the side dishes and desserts. Olives were a must and a white bean salad with artichokes, olives, and roasted peppers rounded out some of the sides. For dessert we debated the choices and had initially settled on buying some baklava (who would make that from scratch?), but decided that a homemade pistachio brittle would incorporate the flavors, but add a twist to the traditional. Rounding out desert were lemon cupcakes with a greek yogurt frosting that was to die for!

And that’s how My Big Fat Greek Tailgate was put together. Are you inspired yet?


One Small Post for PSUgirl; Posting from the Parking Lot, Penn State v ysu

Not since Blogger did away with the "audio blog" feature years ago have we been able to post from the football game/tailgate.  Now, thanks to Broadband To Go (I'd personally like to thank Sir Richard) I am sitting in my PSU folding chair at the side of the tailgate table typing away on the MacBook Pro - ONLINE.

Today we had a small, but delicious Greek inspired tailgate featuring greek meatballs, lemon cupcakes with greek yogurt frosting and so, so, so much more.

Our new camp in the Green lot is awfully convenient to the stadium and a great atmosphere.  It will be a challange to stage bigger tailgates - but we have some ideas ;)

My only complaint (apart from the first quarter of the football game) is the wind.  There always seems to be a "but for" - but, as TailgateMaven would say "I'm not complaining."

To the Lion!


Ch ch ch changes; Cooler Forecast for PSU v youngstown state

So, it turns out that Perfect did want its forecast back - and I thought we should post a quick update:

It will be cool - sunny, this time with clouds, and wind.  High 66 - Low 48 (excuse me? 48?).

Saturday morning's low is in the upper 50s - so the temperature change is really going to hit after the game.

So you should still bring along the sunscreen - but also be sure to pack a sweater if you are going to be staying outside later into the evening.

Oh - and last night they had a wind advisory, expecting wind gusts over 40mph - they've removed that warning as of this morning - but I'd still bring along weights/anchors for your canopies, paper products and starving freshmen.


Doobie Doobie Doo; Blue White Roundtable youngstown state edition.

1.This offseason seems to have more storylines than usual, quarterbacking issues, and Joe’s age aside what is the first thing you’ll be looking for come Saturday?

Up until yesterday - I wouldn't say that it was that chatty of an off season - luckily we didn't have a slew of "off the field" issues with the players this year.

I will definitely be watching the Defense in general - especially the linebacker corps - to see how it all comes together.

2. Penn State has a lot of depth in positions like Linebacker and Wideout. Considering the game should be in hand come the second half, which of the less talked about players on the Nittany Lion roster do you look forward to seeing in action?

I hope you are correct in your assumptions - if the Lions do find a reason to send in some of the reserves - I'd like to see if Mike Yancich and Mike Zordich can make a statement at linebacker -

3. How should Penn State handle the quarterbacking situation? How would you divide the workload?

I think they should start Bolden (har har) - this is an interesting situation- not only do we have a young and untested set of potential qbs, but they are going to be tested, early, no matter what pans out. My hope is that the O line can create situations where Royster is making an impact on the game, thus giving our new quarterback some opportunities.

4. What’s the best case scenario for Penn State coming out of this game? How does the offense/defense look in its development, and how many people has Jack Crawford killed?

Best case scenario is that the team comes out of the game healthy and with a win. It's difficult to say what to look for - because there are so many unknowns and they are playing a team that we really don't know so very much about. With such a ridiculously big game next week, the team, coaches and we, as fans, need to remember that ysu wants to play well just as much as we do.

Hopefully Jack doesn't hurt anyone too badly - hopefully he'll leave some of them with lasting memories (that is, if they can remember).

Rapid Fire

Over/Under (Penn State Score)—40 - I don't make score predictions
Going to the game - yes
Passing yardage > Rushing yardage? Rushing yardage
# of times Joe’s age/bowels are brought up on TV - most likely will reflect the score of the game


Hey, can I get my Quarter Back? Robert Bolden named as starter for Lions' home opener.

This is the day of Announcements - apparently.

Penn State (finally) announced that freshman, Robert Bolden, will be the starting quarterback for the team this Saturday against youngstown state.

Don't They Know We Have a Tailgate to get Ready for? The Big Ten to Announce Divisions.

So, we're one day away from the start of the 2010 Football Season - and just 3 days away from the Nittany Lions' home opener - and the Big T(w)e(lve)n powers that be will, tonight, be announcing the new conference divisions (and 2011 2012 conference schedules).

The rumored configuration is as follows:

Div 1 - um, neb, iowon't, msu, northwestern and minne
Div 2 - Penn State, tosu, wisky, purdon't, iu, and ill


So, anyway, the announcement will be aired on the Big Ten Network at 7pm (EST) - I'll be watching (and Tweeting).