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‘Real Exciting’: PSU DT PJ Mustipher Eager for Chance to Play Buckeyes

Photo by Penn State Athletics: PJ Mustipher

PJ Mustipher didn’t get to play against Ohio State last season. 

The defensive tackle who’s established himself as one of Penn State’s leaders suffered a season-ending injury at Iowa in Week 6. Penn State came into that game 5-0.

All Mustipher could do was watch as Penn State lost to Iowa, got stunned by lowly Illinois in nine overtimes two weeks later and then, despite a valiant effort, fell at Ohio State, 33-24, to complete a three-game losing streak. 

Penn State was 5-0 before Mustipher’s injury and ended up finishing 7-6. 

There were a lot of factors that played into the collapse, and Mustipher’s absence was one of them.

Mustipher decided to return to Penn State for his fifth season, and now, with the team 6-1 and ranked No. 13, he’ll have a chance to play Ohio State again. 

Mustipher had to watch last year’s game from the Penn Stater Hotel, as he had recently undergone surgery. 

He’s thrilled to have the chance to be on the field for this year’s Ohio State game. 

“Oh, man, real exciting,” Mustipher told reporters via Zoom Tuesday morning. “I remember I was sitting in the Penn Stater because I had just got done with my surgery. Just got back in town, and, you know, it was just like, ‘man, I wish I could be out there with the guys.'”

“Just watching them fly around at 7:30 last year, at their place, it was incredible to watch. But at the same time, I’m like, ‘man. I really want to be out there and be a part of that.'”

This will also be the first time Mustipher will get to play Ohio State in front of a packed Beaver Stadium as a regular in Penn State’s lineup. 

He was a true freshman in 2018 and didn’t play in Penn State’s heartbreaking 28-27 loss. 

Ohio State returned to Beaver Stadium in 2020. Unfortunately, the teams didn’t play in front of a packed crowd due to the pandemic.

No. 13 Penn State and No. 2 Ohio State kickoff at noon Saturday on Fox. It will be the first time the network’s “Big Noon Kickoff” show has been to Happy Valley. 

Mustipher called the game a “tremendous opportunity.”

“I can’t wait to get out there and play those guys again,” he said. “They have a tremendous program over there, and every time we compete, it’s a great game.”

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