We're in State College today to watch Northwestern take on Penn State. Make sure to follow us on Twitter at @insidenu, and also follow @kdukovic, @jasondorow and @k_trahan. Here are some pregame thoughts.
- It's absolutely gorgeous here. Not a cloud in the sky and warm. The area around here is gorgeous, too. It's strange going to games at Nebraska and Penn State in back-to-back years.
- Northwestern is wearing all-white uniforms with purple helmets. I believe that's what they wore here last time.
- They're expecting a crowd of over 100,000 today since this is homecoming. Capacity is 106,000.
- With Collin Ellis out today, look for Anthony Walker to get more playing time. He's an athletic linebacker, and that could allow NU to blitz more. The Wildcats have rarely blitzed so far, but there's reason to believe that could change this week, as Nate Williams described. Considering the cushion NU's corners typically leave (and we'll certainly see that this week) it could make sense to get to Christian Hackenberg more against a weak offensive line.
- Can Ifeadi Odenigbo have another big game? If NU can get Penn State in third-and-long situations, he has the opportunity to have a pretty impressive day.
- The NU run defense has quietly had a pretty good year. Look for that to continue today against a weak PSU offensive line.
- Tony Jones is back for this game, which at least won't hurt the offense.
- It will be interesting to see how Trevor Siemian looks. People don't like the excuses, but it's entirely possible that his checkdowns last week were due to his ankle injury.