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Paterno expects OSU to be inspired

Penn State coach says Oregon State will be ready to play after losing season-opener.

Joe Paterno said Oregon State ‘blew’ its game against Stanford.

AP PHOTO

Oregon State blew it.

That much is clear to Joe Paterno, who has uttered that very phrase twice now since Saturday.

Not that it’s meant to be a shot against the Beavers, who had their 16-point, fourth-quarter comeback against Stanford last week thwarted by a goal-line fumble in the final minute.

Penn State’s coach was just pointing out the obvious: Oregon State won’t be in the best of moods for Saturday’s game against the Nittany Lions.

“Oregon State blew it, any way you twist it,” Paterno said. “You know, the kid doesn’t fumble it in the end zone, they might be in an overtime game. They gave Stanford a lot, and they really beat themselves. Oregon State beat themselves. So I go into this game thinking we’re going to have our hands full, and nothing’s changed.”

There’s a good bit of irony in how things have worked out for the Nittany Lions. Penn State went out of its way to try and improve its non-conference schedule for this year, coaxing Oregon State to come out east for a one-game deal.

The Beavers come into Happy Valley at 0-1. Penn State’s original opponent for this week? That would be Arkansas State, which pulled off arguably the most surprising upset of the weekend, beating Texas A&M on the road.

Still, Oregon State figures to be the more impressive addition to a BCS resume by the end of the season.

What the Beavers won’t be, Paterno insists, is the pass-first team that surfaced against Stanford.

Trailing for the entire second half, Oregon State went to the air with starting quarterback Lyle Moevao, who ended up throwing 54 times for 404 yards and three scores. The team finished with only 86 yards on the ground.

Paterno and Beavers coach Mike Riley both said to expect more of a balance this week.

“I think Oregon State got behind a little bit and I don’t think that was necessarily their game,” said Paterno, who said he stayed up until nearly 1 a.m. last Thursday night to watch the game against the Cardinal. “I don’t think I’d go by the fact that they threw the ball as much as they did against Stanford. … We’ve got to be ready to handle the running game. So I don’t know whether I would overreact to the amount of throwing they did last Thursday night. I think we’ve got to be ready for a more balanced attack.”

More familiar names

It’s the second straight week where Paterno will take on a team for the first time in his 43 years as head coach. But once again, there’s a Penn State connection.

Twin brothers Keith and Kevin Pankey are sons of former Lions great Irv Pankey. Keith is the starting weakside linebacker for the Beavers and Kevin is a reserve tight end.

“You know, if the kid’s anything like his old man, it will be a fun game for Irv,” Paterno said. “Irv was a great guy to coach, and I enjoyed coaching him. It’s funny, last week (former PSU quarterback Wally) Richardson’s brother was playing against us. This week we’ve got Pankey’s kid playing against us. I don’t know – I must be getting old.”

Movin’ on up

Penn State jumped up three spots to No. 19 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls that were released Tuesday.

The Lions passed Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Clemson – all first-week losers – while seeing Alabama overtake them.

UP NEXT

Oregon State (0-1)

at No. 19 Penn State (1-0)

3:30 p.m., Saturday

Beaver Stadium

ABC (WNEP-TV)

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