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‘We Love Playing SEC Opponents’: Penn State Looking to Showcase Its Brand of Football Against Ole Miss

Theo Johnson hauls in a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

ATLANTA– Penn State had a lot of fun the last time it played an SEC team. 

Two Septembers ago, PSU became the first Big Ten team to play at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, and absolutely waxed Auburn 41-12. 

15 months later, PSU will be facing another SEC team and probably won’t win by four touchdowns. 

The Auburn team Penn State waxed finished the regular season 5-7. The Ole Miss team Penn State plays Saturday in Atlanta finished 10-2, and if it beats Penn State Saturday, will finish in the top 10. So Penn State knows it’s in for a test.

Starting right tackle Caedan Wallace has played in three games against SEC teams: Two wins against Auburn and an Outback Bowl loss to Arkansas at the end of the 2021 season.

Wallace has been a regular starter for four of his five college seasons, and he’s played in plenty of big games, mainly against Big Ten competition.

When Penn State has a chance to play against an SEC school, Wallace eats it up and is pumped to be playing an SEC school in what will be his last college game.

“We love playing SEC opponents,” Wallace told reporters at a media availability Wednesday morning. “We played Auburn these past two years. So being able to host Auburn and then play down here last year and play down here again is going to be super fun for us. We love it.”

Theo Johnson didn’t get to play at Auburn due to an injury.

But when Auburn came to Happy Valley to play against PSU in White Out conditions in September 2021, he had a 37-yard reception in the first quarter which set up a touchdown in what ended up being an eight-point Penn State win. 

Like Wallace, Johnson will be playing his last game at Penn State Saturday, and he’s happy that it’s against somebody from the SEC.

“We’re really looking forward to playing an SEC opponent,” Johnson said. “We talk a whole lot about how the Big Ten is and how Big Ten football is, and that’s something we’ve kind of talked about this week that we’re the Big Ten. A lot of people have a lot of stuff to say about the SEC, but we have a different brand of football in the Big Ten. We’re looking forward to bringing it down here to the SEC.” 

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