UNIVERSITY PARK - Five things to look for as Joe Paterno begins his 45th season as Penn State's head coach by starting a true freshman quarterback in an opener for the first time ever.
SUBHD: No. 1: Bolden opportunity
So is this kid Robert Bolden really that good, or was his competition at quarterback - Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin - just not up to par?
The answer is probably a little bit of both.
It's natural to get excited about a new quarterback who comes in with a lot of hype and a chance to be a four-year starter. And there is plenty of reason to be excited about this kid.
But everyone needs to remember one thing: No matter how much hype there is, Bolden has never taken one snap in college. He may look tremendous on one play and awful on another, and that may be the case deep into the season.
But he is the future of Penn State football, and the future starts today.
SUBHD: No. 2: Focus on JoePa
Whatever attention is not placed on Bolden will be aimed at Paterno, who returns from a summer illness ready to win his 395th career game.
The man is amazing. If anyone doubts how fantastic he is as a leader, check altoonamirror.com for a video of him from Friday's Football Eve pep rally.
SUBHD: No. 3: YSU is down
Youngstown State has had great success in Division I-AA, winning four national titles when Ohio State's Jim Tressel was in charge in the 1990s. But the program has struggled recently.
The Penguins were 6-5 last year and 4-8 in 2008. They have a new head coach and will be starting a redshirt freshman quarterback. They will be overmatched in every way today.
SUBHD: No. 4: Good, solid game
The Nittany Lions will crush the Penguins no matter what, but the most important thing is for PSU to play well fundamentally and minimize mistakes.
If they can do that, they will have reason to feel good about themselves heading into next week's showdown at Alabama. But if the Lions are sloppy against this kind of competition, it would be a bad sign for next week.
SUBHD: No. 5: Royster's weight
We finally will see if the few extra pounds tailback Evan Royster put on will be a hindrance. He says it's no big deal, but JoePa clearly hasn't been pleased.
Prediction: Penn State 40, Youngstown State 6
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.