Some gameday notes and observations while thinking today and Temple will be the best chance to scalp a ticket at less than face value:
n We'll begin to learn today about how much of a quarterback competition has existed at Penn State through the preseason or whether it was a foregone conclusion all along that Daryll Clark would start because he was No. 2 last year. And we'll begin to learn this way: How soon into the game, when it still even remotely matters, Pat Devlin gets in. Does he get a chance in the first half or must he wait until it's 38-0 midway through the third quarter? There are fine lines between establishing a starter, building experience and fueling a controversy.
n In discussing the quarterbacks since last year, Joe Paterno has gone out of his way to include third-teamer Paul Cianciolo. If he truly is sincere, Cianciolo ought to see the field today before the Lions have a 40-point lead.
n There's a local tennis connection to Coastal Carolina: PIAA doubles champ David Genter of Hollidaysburg went there, as did Ebensburg club pro Jamie Taylor.
n JoePa's midweek comment that he's most concerned about his linebackers was telling in that it's tough to expect the Lions to have a great defense - as some do this year - if they don't have great linebackers.
n Given that Blue-White games are more competitive than matchups with Division I-AA opponents, the highlight of today's game should be the introduction of the 1968-69 team, JoePa's first great squad that laid the foundation for the next four decades. Nice to see Altoona natives John Ebersole and Mike Reid are scheduled to attend. Personally, I'd have invited this team back either for Illinois or Michigan.
n Can you imagine if/when the day comes when Paterno himself would be introduced to the stadium, either as a sendoff or a tribute? The kickoff would have to be delayed.
n Most of the '68-69 players, presumably because they're now 60 years old, have been back to PSU over the years, but anyone who hasn't will quickly notice a stadium that has nearly doubled in size since then, and they may notice it will be a little warmer. The 1968 team opened on Sept. 21 and, like every team of the 1960s, only played two games before Oct. 1; this year's team will play its sixth game Oct. 4.
n Penn State fans might understandably be more interested in some of the "scores of other games," today than they are this one. For example, Utah is at Michigan in the opening of the RichRod Era, Michigan State has a tough opener at Cal tonight, and Illinois tangles with rival Missouri.
n Lou Holtz and Mark May got into a spirited discussion on ESPN the other night about a potential succession plan at PSU. While supportive and complimentary of Paterno - an interesting departure because he often picks against Penn State, including his selection of Akron to upset the Lions in 2006 - May adamantly thought the decision of when should be Paterno's but that the next coach should come from outside the staff. Holtz disagreed, saying there are worthy candidates in-house who would ease the transition.
n While Atlantic Broadband's silence on the Big Ten Network has been a little deafening, it's at least nice to see ESPNU added to the digital tier.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He will respond to brief comments and questions in Gameday.