ShareThis Page
Penn State

Penn State recovers from Ohio State loss, preps to finish grueling 3-game stretch

| Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, 7:31 p.m.

Anyone who saw Penn State's schedule in August noticed the big three-game stretch in the second half of the season against nationally ranked Michigan and Big Ten favorite Ohio State, followed by a trip to Michigan State against a Spartans team that could have moved into the top 25 by game day.

Two down, and one to go. The No. 7 Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) put themselves in a precarious position last weekend with their drop-from-ahead loss to the Buckeyes and need a win over the No. 24 Spartans (6-2, 4-1) on Saturday to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

It won't be easy. The Lions have injuries — two starters, offensive tackle Ryan Bates and defensive end Ryan Buchholz, might not play — and their regulars still must have bruises after two games against the most physical teams in the Big Ten. The mental and emotional grind of the last two weeks also must have taken a toll.

Tight end Mike Gesicki said, however, recovery from the previous game is the same pretty much every week, no matter who the Lions are playing.

“When you're playing for Penn State, you know that every week, teams are going to come out and give you their best effort,” Gesicki said Wednesday. “So whether you're playing a top-ranked team or an unranked team, they're still going to be at their best and they're going to play like a ranked team.

“It doesn't really matter who we're playing, it's going to be physical. This is football. It's going to be physical. It's going to be mentally demanding. It just so happened that the three teams that we played in a three-week stretch are all ranked, they're tough, athletic, talented football teams. But nothing really changes.”

Senior cornerback Christian Campbell said it's no problem for the Nittany Lions to keep their focus against any opponent, particularly a dangerous one.

“We've got a great team that we're playing against ahead of us,” Campbell said. “It just makes me hungrier, and I feel like everybody on our team has a chip on our shoulder because we want to prove to the world that we're the No. 1 team in college football. Things happen, and sometimes teams have to bounce back from a tough loss. I want to keep playing and keep fighting.”

On the physical side, Campbell said the players “don't take anything for granted” when it comes to taking care of their bodies.

“The one week we do that take for granted, then it'll be a game where we feel sore,” he said. “As a team, you don't want that. So we're always talking about getting in the ice tub or the hot tub and making sure our body feels good.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me