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Know thy foe: Frost, Huskers also in desperation mode, and PSU needs to be ready for that

Nebraska coach Scott Frost.

As a Penn State fan, you probably couldn’t care less about Nebraska.

You couldn’t care less about coach Scott Frost and his troubles since taking over the Huskers.

And you don’t give a rip that Nebraska has its own quarterback issues, along with problems at many other areas.

No, as a Penn State fan, you’re likely still ticked off about Saturday’s meltdown against Maryland, plus all the internal issues that have popped up in the program.

That’s how things go in sports: You care about what’s happening with your team and often don’t bother to give much thought to the other guys and what they are or are not capable of doing.

Looking ahead to Saturday, though, Penn State fans need to know one thing:

The Lions are heading into a situation where they’re facing a desperate team and desperate coach that will be looking to do or try anything in order to win.

Nebraska has been a laughingstock this season. The Huskers publicly lobbied to play, even after the Big Ten initially announced it was postponing the season, and their hopes of playing non-conference opponents was quickly shot down.

Some have speculated the Big Ten stuck it to Nebraska when the schedules did come out, as the Huskers had to open up at Ohio State, then host Wisconsin, then travel to a pretty good Northwestern before playing Penn State.

The Wisconsin game was canceled because of COVID within the Badger program. For about 15 minutes, it appeared that Nebraska would be playing Chattanooga as a fill-in game, but the Big Ten shot that down, also.

It certainly seems that the Huskers are on the Big Ten’s (bleep) list after all this stuff, when in reality, all Nebraska has really wanted to do is play football.

The biggest problem for the Huskers is that they have not been any good under Frost, their 1997 national championship QB who was brought in to resurrect the once-dominant program.

Frost has failed badly so far, going 4-8 his first year in 2018, then 5-7 last season and now 0-2 this year.

When you face a proud program that’s desperate for something good to happen, plus a good coach who’s just trying to get his own rear end off the hot seat, that can make for a dangerous opponent.

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Penn State is better than Nebraska. That should be made clear. The Lions are favored by 3.5 points, and the Huskers don’t even know who their starting QB will be yet this week.

This looks like the perfect kind of game for PSU to figure things out, turn things around and start making people forget about the Maryland massacre.

But if you know anything about sports, you know that Frost and those folks in Nebraska are looking at this game in the exact same light.

They see a reeling Penn State team and know that, hey, this is their opportunity to get in the win column.

For Frost, if he can’t beat this struggling PSU team, it will only further strengthen the notion that he’s in over his head and that the Huskers have devolved into nothing but a sad program that has nothing to feel good about except the past.

So, be cautious, Penn State fans, if you think your team is gonna just roll into Lincoln and all of a sudden start looking like the really good team everyone expected to see.

Maybe that will happen.

But there’s an equally good chance that Nebraska will see this as its best opportunity to finally make something good happen by continuing the Lions’ misery in the early going.

That’s what makes this type of opponent and this type of game so dangerous.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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