NEWARK, Del. - Greetings from the press box moderately high above a rain-soaked Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium.
I'm here to see Pat Devlin's Blue Hens face Richmond, the No. 1 team in both Division I-AA polls, and to write about it for tomorrow's Inquirer.
But I'm also here to take in the region's best college football atmosphere. Delaware Stadium's 22,000-seat capacity is the perfect size for a I-AA power, and the First State's flagship team has definitely been that in recent years. It's also produced more than a few top pros, including Rich Gannon and most recently Joe Flacco.
What about Penn State, you ask? I would argue that it doesn't really count as the region. Newark is less than an hour from Philadelphia, whereas State College is three and a half hours away if you're lucky.
So back to this game, which is being broadcast on the Comcast Network. Pat Devlin arrived here from Penn State with lots of hype and expectations, and last week's 35-0 dress rehersal against West Chester didn't tell us much.
This game will tell us a lot more. After beating Ohio State singlehandedly last year, can Devlin lead his new team to victory against a conference power? Or will Richmond, fresh off a win at Duke last week, do what the better side in this game should?
We can talk about that and whatever else is on your mind this afternoon.