Penn State vs. Nebraska: Week 11 matchup calls to mind dark 2011 game

Justin K. Aller

Most of the talk surrounding Penn State-Nebraska will - thankfully - surround the game on the field, but one Penn State blogger took a moment to remember last season's difficult game between the two teams overshadowed by the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Penn State will head to Lincoln for the first time since the Nebraska Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten, providing yet another reminder of the strange, terrible journey Nittany Lions football has taken over the past year.

It should be a quality football game - Penn State has won six of its last seven, the only loss coming to Ohio State, while the No. 16 Huskers are in the driver's seat for a berth in the Big Ten Championship game after several dramatic, come-from-behind victories. But Penn State blogger Jared Slanina took a moment to remember last year's matchup between the two teams at Penn State, the first game after the revelation of the full extent of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and the first in nearly 50 years that the Nittany Lions played without the now-late Joe Paterno at head coach.

The things that are forever etched in my mind did not have much to do with the game. I experienced every emotion imaginable emotion in the hour or so in the stands before the game started, to the point I developed a splitting headache by the end of the first quarter. These emotions were capped off by the tears shed during a moment of silence, and the tears that would later come when both teams met at midfield to share a hug and a prayer.

The Nittany Lions rallied from a deficit to cut the score to 17-14, but a game between the No. 12 and No. 19 teams in the country was an afterthought. The Nittany Lions have recovered, both on the field and off as evidenced by the fact that most of the talk surrounding this week's game is about football, but the specter of what happened will probably always surround Penn State.

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