With less than 90 minutes until kickoff between Penn State and Eastern Michigan here at Beaver Stadium, here are some pre-game notes.
-Penn State is 55-5-1 all-time against teams currently in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Since Joe Paterno took over as head coach in 1966, the Nittany Lions are 45-1 against the MAC, with their lone loss coming against Toledo, 24-6, in 2000, when they went 5-7.
-These two teams have met only once before – on Sept. 19, 1991. Tenth-ranked Penn State won 52-7.
-Third-year Eastern Michigan coach Ron English was a defensive backs coach at Michigan from 2003-07. The Wolverines played the Nittany Lions three times (2005-07) while English was on staff, winning all three.
-Penn State wide receiver and senior co-captain Derek Moye needs only 39 yards to become the sixth player in program history with 2,000 career receiving yards. He needs just 55 more yards to jump to third all-time in receiving yards for a Penn State receiver behind Bobby Engram (3,026) and Deon Butler (2,771). Jordan Norwood (2,015), Bryant Johnson (2,008), Kenny Jackson (2,006) and O.J. McDuffie (1,988) are currently in front of Moye. With 118 receptions, Moye is seven catches away from tying McDuffie for fifth in that category. Moye caught a career-high seven catches for 112 yards against Temple last week.
-Eastern Michigan is sixth in the nation in rushing offense with 289.67 yards per game. Running back Javonti Greene is 18th in the nation averaging 115.3 yards (6.1 per carry), while Dominique Sherrer averages 115.5 rushing yards (7.7 per carry), but has played in only two games. The Eagles mobile quarterback, Alex Gillett, poses another challenge for Penn State’s defense. He has 211 rushing yards on 32 scrambles (6.6 yards per carry). The Nittany Lions are ranked 42nd in run defense, allowing just 111.67 yards per game on the ground.
-Five players on Penn State’s roster hail from Michigan, including quarterback Rob Bolden (Orchard Lake). Wide receiver Allen Robinson – Bolden’s teammate at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep – offensive lineman DeOn’tae Pannell (Southfield), defensive end C.J. Olaniyan (Warren) and defensive tackle Anthony Zettel (West Branch) all came to Happy Valley from the Wolverine State.
-Two former high school teammates of Bolden’s and Robinson’s, kicker Sean Graham and running back Dominique White, play for the Eagles.